Capturing the stories of recent veterans is citizen work

The Warrior to Citizen Campaign oral history project developed out of a desire to capture an important piece of Minnesota's recent history - the experience of Minnesotans who have served in the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. The firsthand stories collected through this project will be archived by the Minnesota Historical Society and turned into a traveling exhibit on wartime service and the process of reintegrating into community life.

The Minnesota National Guard, Minnesota State University- Moorhead, and the Center for Democracy and Citizenship are coordinating the project, including training and matching volunteer interviewers with veterans.

A training session for interviewers will be offered on Tuesday, April 15, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in room 205 Humphrey Center 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis. The training will include:

  • How-to session with a trainer from the Minnesota Historical Society
  • Military 101 for civilians
  • Sensitivity training for interviewing veterans
  • Interviewing practice

For more information or to register for the free training, contact Kristin Farrell, oral history project coordinator at the Center for Democracy and Citizenship, at 612-625-0142 or

Read an excerpt from Lt. Geoff Pletz's oral history published by the Citizens League in their February 2008 policy newsletter.

The Warrior to Citizen Campaign is a grassroots effort that challenges people at the community level to support returning veterans and find ways to tap the new skills and experience they have to offer. The campaign is organized by the University of Minnesota's Center for Democracy and Citizenship as part of long-term effort to strengthen Minnesota communities by involving diverse people as problem-solvers and architects of civic life.


As I write this email, there are Veterans who live in the Veterans and Community Apartments. They are living in a situation that is deplorable. Some are Irag or Afgan Vets most are Vietnam Vets. This project was set up to get them off the streets as all of them we long time homeless Veterans.

I need help with this project. I would like a team to put together a great investigative piece. Most of the investigation has already been done by me and three other Veterans who live there. I do not live thier.

I would like anyone who has political pull especially in Hennipen County and Federally to get involved. This is worse the the Walter Reed Hospital story.

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs