Work with Veterans

HARRY NOLLSCH (ARMY) FRANK MORAWA (GERM. ARMY) LOYD BRANDT (MARINES)        Life of Frank Morawa      Reluctant Heroes       The Purple Heart       I Flew the Big One CHUCK CHILDS (USAAF) HARRY PUTNAM (NAVY)       Veterans       Leaving Home for WWII JERRY TEACHOUT (USAAF) STEVEN WARREN (NAVY) GORDON LEASE (COAST GUARD)       Brothers in Arms CLARENCE CARSNER (ARMY) WALLY DAHLQUIST (USAAF) GEORGE W. LARSON (NAVY) ALAN HERBERT (ARMY) PETER DAHLBERG (ARMY)      Life-Changing Experiences     Friends for Life WARREN FAGERLAND (ARMY)      He Took My Place RICHARD PERKINS (MARINES)      Letter home, 1944 RUSSEL FRINK (NAVY) EJI SUYAMA (ARMY) THOMAS K. OLIVER (USAAF) JIM LOCKHART (NAVY) REX ALAN SMITH (ARMY ENG) VINCE FITZGERALD (NAVY) LESTER SNYDER (USAAF)       A Most Exciting Mission for Durkee's Crew HONOR FLIGHTS PRISONERS OF WAR CHARLES ANDERSON (USAAF)      Life of Charles Anderson      Tom Oliver in 2009 STAN LIEBERMAN (ARMY) HARLAND HERMANN (ARMY)      Letters during WWII      My Combat in the 442nd WALTER MARCHAND (ARMY)      D-Day Doctor's Diary JUNO SUNDSTROM (ARMY) KEITH CHRISTENSEN (ARMY)     Story of Stan Lieberman      John Fuller Goes to War HAROLD JANSEN (Navy) JOHN W. FULLER (NAVY) DEAN SHAFFHAUSEN (NAVY) CHARLES GERLACH (NAVY)      Combat Mission 15 WAYNE BREWSTER (ARMY) WILLIAM A. SEMLEK (ARMY) KENNETH HALLIGAN (ARMY) HAROLD TAYLOR (USAAF USAF) WALTER MEHLHAFF (ARMY) EDDIE KODET (ARMY) TOM McDILL (ARMY)      Story of Had Taylor PAUL PRIEST (ARMY)      Riding Rails before WW2      Oliver photos 2012 VICTOR WEIDENSEE (ARMY)       Weidensee maps OLA CAMPBELL (USAAF) DALLAS BLOMQUIST (Marines)       Christmas Lights BILL LOFGREN (ARMY) HOMEFRONT        Harry Nollsch       Taps Delayed JOHN WILKINSON (ROYAL AF) MARCELLA LeBEAU (ARMY) HILARY COLE (USAAF) TOM WENN (USAAF) JOHN GASTON (USAAF) MAURICE CROW (USAAF) GEORGE MOLSTAD (USAAF)
Gathering oral history from [sometimes] elderly war veterans requires particular awareness and sensitivity. Here are some things to consider:
  • Oral history is very demanding in terms of time and emotions, and this can be particularly true of war oral history.

Always be on time for meetings. Your interviewee may be nervous, so do not keep them waiting.

Be flexible. You may be offered a cup of tea when you arrive, or your interviewee may want to get started immediately. Follow their lead.

Do not continue with a question line if your interviewee is reluctant to talk about something. Move on to another topic.

Be patient. You are asking your interviewee to remember events and feelings that occurred more than 60 years ago. Give them time to think.

If your interviewee becomes agitated or disturbed because they cannot remember some detail, reassure them that it doesn't matter, and move on to another question.

If you sense your interviewee is becoming tired, end the session and, if possible, arrange to come back at another time.

Talking about the past can be an emotional experience, and you should allow time, while you are still with them, for your interviewee to wind down after the interview. This is especially so if they have been talking about things that may have upset them.

It is the interviewer's responsibility to ensure that interviewees are not left to cope by themselves with any strong emotions that the session may have evoked. This is particularly important if the interviewee lives alone. If you have any serious doubts about the welfare of a veteran, contact Veterans' Affairs [or similar resource] whose job it is to care for war veterans and their needs.

Always write a letter of thanks after the interview.

Source

http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/hands/from-memory/working-with-veterans