2.7 million Americans put on a uniform and served their country in the Vietnam War. It is estimated 850,000 of the veterans of that war are still with us today. As they pass off into the sunset of life their memories and stories about those troubled times disappear with them never to be known again if those remembrances are not somehow recorded. It is so important for succeeding generations to know about the experiences of preceding generation war veterans so they will have greater insight into facing the challenges of the future.
There is something special going on up at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire that is helping preserve the memories of participants of the Vietnam War Era. History professor Edward Miller has established the Dartmouth Vietnam Project (DVP). Along with the help of history professor Jennifer Miller and Dartmouth College Rauner Special Collections Library archivist Caitlin Birch.
The DVP was described in a story found in The Dartmouth (America’s oldest college newspaper, founded in 1799) that was titled: Vietnam Project collects oral histories and was submitted by Racquel Lyn. Dr. Miller started the project three years ago and has since added 100 interviews to their collection. The interviews are conducted by volunteer students who participate in a cocurriculum program where they are trained in a series of eight workshops. The students conduct the interviews with volunteers under the supervision of faculty staff. The interviewees must have a connection to Dartmouth College.
According to Dr. Miller, the program has been highly beneficial to the students, the interviewees and the College. He said “this is a program where the students who are participating are learning by doing, especially learning how to do oral history and the program also teaches the theory and ethical issues of oral history.”
Dr Miller is highly qualified to run the DVP. He has a PhD in history from Harvard University, he speaks Vietnamese and has visited the country of Vietnam on many occasions.
CLICK HERE to listen to DVP interviews.