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.
Harold Berman, a native of Colorado City, Texas, was a student in the University of Texas law school when he was drafted during WWII. He would go on to serve as an Army translator in occupied Japan and witnessed some of the war crimes trials held there. After the war he graduated with a law degree from Harvard University and settled into a private law practice in Dallas. He remains active with Alpha Epislon Pi, a fraternity he held to found at the University of Texas, and went on to be the fraternity's national president.
Andy Stewart, a native of Iowa, joined the U.S. Army when he was drafted in 1972. He left the Army in 1974 and spent fifteen years as a civilian before joining the Army Reserve in 1989. He continued his service until he retired in 2008. He now resides in San Antonio, Texas.
Linus Schmidtberger joined the U.S. Navy in 1942 and saw action in the Pacific Theater of operations in battles such as the Aleutian Islands and Okinawa. He was aboard one of the first ships to enter Nagasaki after the all clear was given. He left the service in 1946.
© Texas General Land Office // 1.800.252.VETS (8387) // www.voicesofveterans.org