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Hands-on From the Start

 

Greg Winger
Photo of Greg Winger at Baltimore National Cemetery

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Honoring America's Veterans

For as long as he can remember, freshman Greg Winger has always had a love of history and an interest in foreign affairs. Now, as a Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar at UMBC, he has the opportunity to participate in the Veterans History Project, a program established by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress to record the personal histories and testimonials of American war veterans, covering World War I to the Persian Gulf War.

To date, Winger has interviewed over 20 veterans at the VA Hospital in downtown Baltimore and describes his experience as "ranging from tragic to triumphant." He's listened to veterans describe the tragic moments that led to their disfigurement and shared in their bittersweet joy when he hears a veteran proudly recall how his African-American lieutenant was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor over 50 years after serving in WWII. The experience has given Winger a deeper understanding of war and soldiers that books and documentaries can only touch upon.

"Through these interviews, I hope to gain a true understanding of Veterans affairs, warfare and the individual soldier," says Winger. "I have found that there are many misconceptions about America's wars and warriors and I hope to learn the truth and comprehend these men and events."

Greg's interviews, along with all the interviews and documents collected as a result of the Veterans History Project, will be cataloged by the Library of Congress and used to develop online presentations for the Library's American Memory website.

Click here for more information or to learn how to get involved with the Veterans History Project.