V Corps

Monday, November 12, 2007


My dad, a proud U.S. Army veteran, celebrated his 92nd birthday on November 6, 2007. Veterans Day was November 11, 2007. I will be submitting his oral history to the Veterans History Project very soon. I conducted the interview a few months ago and it's almost ready to go. Here's some interesting reading for y'all on the subject.

La Crosse Tribune November 10, 2007
By DAN SPRINGER / La Crosse Tribune

Thanks to the Veterans History Project, the memories and experiences of thousands of those who served in the U.S. military have been captured on tape. Thanks to court reporters, that rich oral history now is being transcribed for researchers and the general public to use.

Court reporter Tawni Kind spearheaded the effort after transcribing some interviews for her husband, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of La Crosse, who sponsored creation of the history project in 2000. Tawni Kind said she found the experience so rewarding, she thought other court reporters might be interested in the project. And it was a natural fit for a group that makes a living transcribing legal testimony.

She took the idea to a meeting of the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association, which just happened to have a representative from the national association. Soon, the idea had spread nationwide, with Tawni Kind as coordinator. She created a template and a glossary of military terms, names of battles and cities, and other obscure terms to aid court reporters. But the project grew to the point where the national group had to take over the effort, Tawni Kind said. The court reporters last year turned out their 1,000th oral history transcription.

But thousands more stories remain to be transcribed, even as more histories are being put to tape, according to the national group. The transcribed interviews are placed in a digital format that makes it easier for researchers or the public to search for specific items, Tawni Kind said. On that format, researchers can cross-reference from a number of interviews. Each transcription is time stamped, so researchers can go to the tape to find the passage, complete with the veteran’s emotion and true inflection. While court reporters are volunteering their time, they can earn continuing education credits for each tape they transcribe, according to the National Court Reporters Association.


Veterans Day is November 11, 2007. If you have a family member who is a veteran, take advantage of the occasion to interview him or her as part of the Veterans History Project. We have heard of growing numbers of reporters who are working with the National Court Reporters Foundation to interview and transcribe the wartime stories of family members.

WSFA-TV in Montgomery, Ala., for example, recently broadcast a story about associate member Sherry Hill, of Prince Institute, interviewing her father-in-law, Robert Hill, about his experiences in World War II. Sherry offers to interview other veterans in the Montgomery area as part of NCRF's partnership with the Library of Congress in the Veterans History Project.

For details on how you can participate in this program, contact Beth Kilker, NCRF's VHP Coordinator, at bkilker@ncrahq.org or call 800-272-6272, ext. 174.

Reporter: Bryan Henry
Updated: Nov 8, 2007 10:24 PM EST

Robert Hill has a story to tell.

"I was in 8 major operations," said Hill.

8 major operations that took place 64 years ago for Hill, the front lines of World War II in the South Pacific. A mere kid back then, he grew up in a hurry.

"My duty along with some guys in the boat was to pick up the wounded and the dead," Hill said.

This is something Robert Hill will share when he's formally interviewed next Wednesday, November 7th, 2007, a few days before Veterans Day. This is all part of the Veterans History Project, started by Congress seven years ago. The war stories will eventually be catalogued by the Library of Congress so future generations will learn about the sacrifices on the battlefields far away. In Montgomery Robert Hill be interviewed by Sherry Hill who just happens to be his daughter-in-law.

"Everybody's story is important," said Sherry Hill.

Sherry Hill runs a court reporting school, a logical method to interview veterans and collect stories along with a handful of memories.

"I'm sure there will be some emotional, traumatic sessions. It's important to know the sacrifices that were made," said Hill.

Robert Hill couldn't agree more. In fact: "There are so many people today that don't know we went to war," Mr. Hill said.

Well, we did have a war, several of them down through the years, and the Veterans History Project encourages all war veterans to share their stories from the first world war to the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"Wartime.. if you've never experienced it you can't possibly fathom the toll it took on them," Sherry Hill said.

Hill says the National Court Reporting Association is partnering with the Library of Congress to gather war stories.

In addition to giving a oral history, veterans may also submit photographs, home movies and diaries. So far 12 veterans have signed up to share their stories with Sherry Hill. Robert Hill, of course, is among them. Today, he is 81 years old and in a few days, this former Navy man plans to tell the whole story about how he fought on the bloody beaches and survived.

If you're a war veteran and you want to share your war story, give Sherry Hill a call at the Prince Institute in East Montgomery at 334-271-1670.


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