Below you will see three animations created by StoryCorps as part of their Military Voices Initiative. The animations are created following interviews which are recorded by StoryCorps to preserve oral history. Before you watch the videos below, you first need to learn a little about StoryCorps.
StoryCorps has been collecting and archiving interviews since 2003. Each conversation is recorded and preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is also one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to their weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our their website. StoryCorps has visited more than 1,800 cities and towns across America and conducted more than 57,000 interviews. Through their interviews, they have amassed more than 37,000 hours of oral history which is preserved for future generations. StoryCorps has recently released an app for smartphones which allows you to interview someone on your own so they can record their story and have it preserved forever.
A few of the interviews get selected to be turned into an animation such as the three shown below. These three animations are of stories as told by Veterans. A brief description of each animation is provided.
1st Squad, 3rd Platoon
In August 2005, Marine Lance Cpl. Travis Williams and his squad were sent on a rescue mission in Barwanah, Iraq. En route, their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. Of Travis’ entire 12-person team, he alone survived. Here, Travis reflects on the hours and days after the explosion, as well as his life now, and pays tribute to the men he left behind.
The Last Viewing
Allen Hoe served as a combat medic during the Vietnam War, and his two sons continued his legacy of service. His oldest son, Nainoa, eventually became a first lieutenant with the 3rd Battalion of the 21st Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. In January 2005, while leading his men through Mosul, Iraq, Nainoa was killed by sniper fire. He was 27. On Memorial Day that same year, Allen traveled to Washington to honor Nainoa’s memory, and it was there that he had a chance encounter a stranger that brought them both unforeseen comfort.
Germans in the Woods
Joseph Robertson was an infantryman in the U.S. Army during World War II, where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge. The stark black and white images in this short haunt the viewer, just as Robertson is haunted by his memories from that battle.
If you have a story to tell or know someone that does, download the StoryCorps app and follow the instructions to conduct the interview. You will be given the option to submit the recorded interview to StoryCorps for preservation for future generations. Every single day we lose important stories from Veterans who pass away which could have been recorded and preserved.