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Volunteers organizing to support veterans

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Martin Ludden, a staff sergeant with the Army Reserve and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, enjoys free time with local youth while deployed in Iraq.

Over the past six months, the Center for Democracy and Citizenship’s Warrior to Citizen Campaign has embarked on an oral history project that aims to present the stories and contributions of Minnesota’s recent veterans in an informative yet compelling way. The Center for Democracy and Citizenship’s Oral History Project is especially unique in that the project has functioned as a grassroots community effort of veterans and volunteers who engage civically by donating their time and talents to ensure the project’s success.

More than 25 interviews have been conducted and transcribed with Minnesota’s veterans, and without the contribution of their stories, the Oral History Project would cease to exist. Thirty-five volunteer interviewers have been trained with in-kind support from the Minnesota Historical Society, and additional training sessions have been planned for the coming weeks.

We currently have five Museum Studies graduate students working together to design the exhibit, which features audio clips of the veterans’ oral histories played via four portable DVD players donated by the Minnesota National Guard. A student has also volunteered her graphic art experience to aid in the design of the exhibit.

Furthermore, a variety of college campuses and community spaces, including Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Minnesota State University-Moorhead, and In Their Own Words Veterans Museum, have all expressed interest in hosting the exhibit. Many of these college spaces are also hoping to launch their own student veterans groups in connection with hosting the exhibit.

And just this morning, one of our volunteers with the Warrior to Citizen Campaign pulled out her checkbook and contributed $100.00 to extend the outreach of the Oral History Project.

To learn how you can contribute, click here.

To make a contribution, please contact Kristin Farrell at repe0002@umn.edu or via phone at (612) 625-0142.

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs