Local veterans urged to take part in ongoing DVD project

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder has spearheaded a new project called Missouri Veteran Stories. The program is intended to honor the states Veterans by capturing their stories on DVD.

In 2006 the veteran stories program was moved from the Veteran's Commission to Kinder's office and received $300,000 in funding to get the project moving.

As veterans from World War II and other wars pass away each day their stories go with them. This program is designed to end this problem and archive these stories for current and future generations to view and learn from. Veterans will be offered a five to seven-minute long digital video recording on which they can share anything about their service they feel is important. The video will then be stored in the Missouri Veteran Stories archive, and will be available to be viewed online, on a 60-inch LCD monitor at the State Capitol. According to Kinder's office, soon there will be another viewing site elsewhere in the state. Videos were also put into the archive from the Missouri National Guard's recordings of World War I veterans from a previous project, these videos were re-recorded in a digital format so they could be viewed alongside the newer stories.

A simple application is available to those who are interested in nominating themselves or someone they know, who live in Missouri and have served in the U.S. military. The first phase of the program will concentrate mainly on the states most senior World War II veterans. However, the project is open to all Missouri veterans from any war or branch of the military.

Forever Video won the bid to record the stories and has since recorded many throughout the state. The company travels to selected areas in a central locations and records multiple stories in one sitting.

Kinder's director of policy and legislative affairs, Jerry Dowell, has been overseeing the project and explained its importance. "This project has been obviously very rewarding for our office. It is very important for us to get those memories on tape, because when those veterans are gone the stories go with them," he said.

The Web site to download a nomination form or view the stories of Veterans is operational and can be viewed at www.missouriveteranstories.com. Those interested in more information regarding the project can also call 1-888-FOREVER (367-3837).

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