The "Voices of Veterans" oral history program seeks to record the stories of Texas veterans and archive the transcripts in the Office of Veterans Records for future researchers, historians, genealogists and the general public.
Every veteran has a story to tell, and this program will ensure these stories of courage and service can inspire Texans for generations to come.
Voices of Veterans represents the first time a state agency has ventured into the field of veterans' oral histories.
The Veterans Land Board is a natural host for the program, managing eight existing Texas State Veterans Homes. The homes currently provide long-term care for about 900 senior veterans, many of whom are eager to tell their story.
Veteran interviews are 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 veterans' sacrifices.
Any veteran interested in including his or her story in the Voices of Veterans program should contact the Veterans Land Board at 1-800-252-VETS (8387), or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oral history interviews can be conducted in person at the Veterans Land Board in Austin, or by telephone from anywhere in Texas. Interviews usually last from one to two hours.
A native of Great Britain, Gerald Groden served with the Royal Air Force during WWII as a Lancaster bomber pilot. He took part in numerous missions throughout the duration of the war, often in very trying circumstances. Years later he would move to Texas.
Mansley Poth served as a Navy corpsman from 1967 through 1973. He did a tour in Vietnam with the U.S. Marines and spent a good portion of that time with Alpha Co, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. He was awarded two Purple Hearts for wounds received in action and the Silver Star for heroism in combat.
Byrd Leroy Lewis served as an artilleryman and radio operator with the Army in Europe during WWII. He took part in the Normandy invasion when his unit landed two days after D-Day. He would serve as a forward observer during much of the war and was awarded the Purple Heart for being wounded in action.
© Texas General Land Office // 1.800.252.VETS (8387) // www.voicesofveterans.org