Volunteers, Support Sought for WWII Project

Suzy Hopkins
By Suzy Hopkins June 15, 2010 16:33

Sonora resident Tom Pugh, WWII

A new community effort aims preserve the firsthand accounts of U.S. war veterans,  starting with those who served in WWII.

The project’s future hinges entirely on community support.

The Tuolumne Veterans History Project (TVHP) is being led by Deanna Maurer, a professional personal historian. Project partners to date include Friends and Neighbors Magazine, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3154, Tuolumne County Historical Society, Catholic Charities Mother Lode Office, and Columbia College Library, where some interviews will be accessible online.

“Veterans and their stories are national treasures,” says Maurer. “Our goal is to preserve this history while we can still hear it firsthand.”

A Sonora resident since 2002, Maurer, 50, has a master’s degree in public policy from UC Berkeley and 20 years’ experience in nonprofit administration.

At present, she is gauging whether enough volunteers, community partners and sponsors are interested in helping. Volunteers are needed to conduct audio and video interviews. Funding is needed for office supplies and small equipment, such as a portable scanner. If a nonprofit agency agrees to take the project under its wing, Maurer notes, sponsorships and donations could be tax-deductible.

Once the project is up and running, interview training will be provided, and veterans, their families and friends will be encouraged to participate. The effort is modeled on the federally funded Veterans History Project, which archives veterans’ wartime accounts in the Library of Congress.

“We hope to submit many of our local interviews to that national collection as well,” Maurer says.

Call her at (209) 918-9287, or email deanna@personalhistorybooks.com. For a list of sample interview questions, call Suzy Hopkins at 536-1755, editor@seniorfan.com.

© 2010 Friends and Neighbors Magazine

Suzy Hopkins
By Suzy Hopkins June 15, 2010 16:33
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