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History project seeks veterans' stories

The Library of Congress wants veterans’ stories. Specifically, the stories of American war veterans from World War I to the present day conflicts.

The Veterans History Project collects and preserves personal accounts of American war veterans so future generations can hear directly from veterans the realities of war, according to the project’s website.

The American Folklife Center heads the project, which began in 2000 when the United States Congress authorized legislation to create the initiative.

Congressman John Kline, a retired Marine colonel, has participated himself and encourages veterans in the 2nd District to share their personal stories. In his interview, Kline talks about his time in Vietnam, where he swept mines from a helicopter.

He also talks about his service in Somalia in 1992 when he served as aviation commander and led 2000 men. Though they were in a hostile country, Kline said they took no casualties and the experience as one the most satisfying of his career.

Kline’s press secretary, Jacob Olson, said all veterans’ stories need to be documented, and Kline’s office will help constituents film their stories and fill out the Library of Congress forms. Olson said veterans also can have a family member or friend help film their story as that might provide a more comfortable setting.

Either way, Olson said personal recollections will help future generations better understand history and the sacrifices people made.

For more information about getting help with the project, call Kline’s Burnsville office at 952-808-1213. Residents can learn more at

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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