AUSTIN — Take the time to listen to an old veterans story while you still can, urges Jerry Patterson, chairman of the Texas Veterans Land Board.
The Voices of Veterans "Every Veteran has a Story to Tell" exhibit is in its final week at the Capitol Visitor's Center. The interactive, multi-media exhibit has drawn an emotional response from countless visitors since it opened on Veterans Day 2011.
"Amazing exhibit - it left my whole family speechless," one visitor remarked in a note after seeing and hearing the personal stories of actual Texas heroes.
"The exhibit was wonderful and very necessary!" said another. "It was so moving to hear it from the veterans themselves. Please continue the interviews!!"
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 includes short videos 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.
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.