AUSTIN — The Texas Veterans Land Board and chairman Jerry Patterson, will celebrate Veterans Day with the opening of a Voices of VeteransTM program exhibit at the Texas Capitol Visitors Center called "Every Veteran has a Story to Tell."
The interactive, multimedia exhibit will open on Nov. 11 (11.11.11) at the Texas Capitol Visitors Center in the historic Old Land Office on the Capitol grounds at 112 E. 11th St. in Austin. The featured exhibit will run through September 2012.
"Our nation's wars are well-known," said Jerry Patterson, chairman of the VLB and retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. "But hearing the gripping personal narratives from veterans of those wars - their experiences of leaving home, going abroad, facing combat and surviving - adds context for the public. These first-hand accounts prove that ordinary men and women, faced with incredible adversity, can accomplish extraordinary things."
The Voices of VeteransTM program is an oral history initiative of the VLB that honors veterans by documenting their powerful stories through thorough interviews. Their captivating stories are then permanently archived in the Office of Veterans Records at the Texas General Land Office, where they join the historic documents of other Texas heroes such as Sam Houston, David Crockett, Jim Bowie and William Barret Travis. The archives are made available to researchers, historians, genealogists and the general public to inspire future generations and remind us of our soldiers' sacrifices. The program is free to Texas veterans of all wars, from World War II to Afghanistan.
The "Every Veteran has a Story to Tell" exhibit will include a short video on the Voices of VeteransTM program, multimedia iPad kiosks with selections from veterans' interviews and personal memorabilia. Twelve Texas veterans of four wars - World War II, Vietnam and both Iraq wars - are featured in videos about courage, duty, fear and survival as part of the exhibit.
The Voices of VeteransTM program has roots in the VLB-managed Texas State Veterans Homes, which provides long-term care for veterans. Many of those homes' residents were eager to tell their stories, and more than a dozen have done so through the Voices of VeteransTM program to date. There are currently seven homes around the state, and one more will open on Nov. 9 in Tyler. The Watkins-Logan-Garrison Texas State Veterans Home will join others in Amarillo, Big Spring, Bonham, El Paso, Floresville, McAllen and Temple. Unlike previous Texas State Veterans Homes, the Tyler home will consist of 10 cottages and one common building.
For additional information on the Voices of VeteransTM program, Texas State Veterans Homes, veterans cemeteries and special home, land and home improvement loans for Texas veterans, call 800-252-VETS (800-252-8387), or visit our Web sites at www.voicesofveterans.org or www.texasveterans.com.
Who: Texas veterans
What: Opening of "Every Veteran has a Story to Tell" exhibit
When: Nov. 11 (11.11.11)
Where: Texas Capitol Visitors Center, Capitol grounds, 112 East 11th St., Austin
Why: To share the personal stories of Texas veterans and honor their sacrifices
BROADCASTERS INTERESTED IN OBTAINING HIGH-QUALITY VIDEO OF ANY OF THE 12 FEATURED VETERANS, CONTACT DAVID LITTLE AT 512.475-1685 OR firstname.lastname@example.org.