CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A cooperative effort between Isle of Capri Casino and Southeast Missouri State University encourages veterans to tell their stories. In turn, their stories will become part of our nation's historical archives.
The faces who fought in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Afghanistan are all different, but each was an eyewitness to history.
"I tell the students that what they're doing is documenting history and when they hear the stories they know they're a part of something special," said Dr. James Dufek, Ph.D., a professor of mass media with Southeast Missouri State University.
The stories will become part of our nation's historical record.
DVD copies are sent to the Library of Congress, and the Missouri Historical Society. A copy is also given to the veteran and his or her family.
For the student photographers, the project is more than a history lesson.
"To see these people who made these sacrifices - it's definitely inspiring and really humbling," said Southeast Missouri State University senior, Branson Cusack.
Cusack is among a crew of student volunteers who donate their time to record veteran stories, so their stories are not lost to history.
"It's interesting to hear their stories of enlisting when they were 17 or 18 years old," Cusack said. "I remember when I was 17 or 18 years old and that was the last thing on my mind - going overseas and fighting a war."
"I think I was 21 or 22," said Vietnam veteran, Jack C. Trickey, Jr. in one recorded interview. "Most of the guys called me 'Pop' because I was one of the older ones."
"I'm 22 years old and I've never had to experience anything like that and so few people do," said Cusack. "So, to hear the stories, it gives you goosebumps. It makes you think how blessed you are to live in a country and have people who are willing to go overseas and fight for you."
If you know a Missouri veteran interested in sharing their story, contact Susan Poe at 573-730-7512 or Michelle Sullivan at 573-730-7521 with Isle of Capri Casino to schedule an appointment or learn more about the project.