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Group seeks World War II veterans to tell their stories

January 28, 2013|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • Justin Mayhue said he has about 20 veterans lined up for interviews, which will be recorded on camera as part of a project to preserve their individual stories on tape.
File photo

The Potomac Highlands World War II Roundtable is seeking veterans who want to tell their stories of serving in the military as part of a preservation project sponsored by the Friends of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Potomac Highlands board member Justin Mayhue said World War II veterans who wish to participate need to contact him before the interviews are held on Feb. 2 at Morris Frock American Legion Post 42 at 405 Northern Blvd. in Hagerstown.

“The age of these veterans — it’s getting harder and harder to find them,” Mayhue said. “Even if they’re alive, they might be in nursing homes and can’t get about. They have some incredible stories to tell.”

An estimated 16 million Americans served in World War II from 1941 to 1945, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. Nearly 2,000 of those veterans die every day.

Mayhue said he has about 20 veterans lined up for interviews, which will be recorded on camera by high school and college students as part of the project.

“It’s better to have too many than not enough,” he said.

Jim Percoco, director of education for Friends of the National World War II Memorial, said the project kicked off in June when a group of his former students at West Springfield High School in Springfield, Va., started to interview World War II veterans. He said the students have documented the stories of 200 World War II veterans thus far.

“The project took off and became a lot bigger than I thought it would be,” he said.

Interviews up until now have been done at the World War II Memorial and lasted about eight to 10 minutes each, Percoco said.

He said the interviews on Feb. 2 will be geared toward giving the local veterans about 30 minutes to talk.

Percoco said the goal is to preserve the veterans’ legacy by archiving their stories on the Friends of the National World War II Memorial’s website.

For more information

To learn more or to arrange an interview, call Justin Mayhue at 301-331-2449.

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