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Veterans Recount Tales Of Service For Oral History Collection In Superior

Veterans Interview Servicemen, Women To Chronicle Their Experiences


Veterans are volunteering at the Richard I. Bong Historical Center in Superior to collect other vets’ experiences serving in the U.S. military. Their stories are being kept as a historical record of conflicts from World War I to the present day.

Ryan Jost of Superior served in the U.S. Army intercepting morse code messages to pinpoint the location of enemy troops and ammunition during the Vietnam War. Jost said he remembers a hostile homecoming for troops and being called a “babykiller.”

“Consequently, myself and a lot of others like me just clam up after that and decide not to speak about our experiences at all,” he said.

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But now, Jost is encouraging other vets to share their stories for an oral history collection at the Bong Historical Center in Superior. He said the program has been a gift to him and other vets.

“We talk a lot about where we’ve been and what we’ve done and we can do that openly without being prejudicial in any way,” he said.

The center is currently working to transfer recordings on VHS and cassette tapes to a digital format. The interviews can also be shared with the Library of Congress upon request. The center has collected close to 400 interviews so far.

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