News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Help share stories of Oregon veterans

Oregonians have stepped up to serve in the United States Armed Forces for generations, or have family members, friends, and loved ones who have answered this call to service. 

Capturing the firsthand, lived experiences of our veterans is an important way we can honor their sacrifices and dedication to our nation while preserving American history for future generations.  

That’s why Senator Jeff Merkley’s office teamed up with the Library of Congress American Folklife Center’s Veterans History Project to help record and share the unique stories of Oregon veterans from all walks of life.   

The Veterans History Project (VHP) was created by Congress in 2000 to collect and preserve the first-person narratives from United States military veterans from World War I through the present so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of military service. 

To date, VHP has collected more than 114,000 individual accounts from veterans who have served our country since World War I. 

In addition to audio and video recorded oral history interviews from veterans and Gold Star Families, VHP accepts and makes accessible memoirs and collections of original photographs, letters, diaries, maps, and other historical documents from veterans. 

The collections are accessible online, and are used by millions of researchers, authors, filmmakers, students, teachers, and more each year.  

How to Participate:  

1. If you are an Oregon veteran, sit down and share your service story with a family member, friend, loved one, or community member and record a conversation about your military experiences for 30 minutes or longer, and/or donate an original collection of accepted materials from your time in service. Gold Star Family members may also share the service story of an immediate family member lost in the line of duty of military service.  

2. Volunteer to interview a veteran in your family or community. Sen. Merkley’s office is building a team of volunteers to interview Oregon veterans around the state. VHP also provides free Zoom or in-person training workshops for organizations interested in learning how to conduct interviews.

3. Collect or donate a veteran’s historical documents. 

More information on VHP is available at https://www.loc.gov/programs/veterans-history-project/how-to-participate/vhp-field-kit.

If you are an Oregon veteran or Gold Star Family members interested in learning more about how to participate, or if you would like to volunteer to interview or collect materials from Oregon veterans, email [email protected] for assistance.

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