By Carra Higgins
West Virginia men and women have a long history of service to their country. To honor the state’s veterans, Glenville State College has compiled “Heroes Among Us,” a book dedicated to remembering the stories of those who served in the U.S. military during times of conflict.
The book begins with the Civil War and continues through the current Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Several area veterans are featured, including World War II veterans Bob Smith and Raymond Groves, both from Nicholas County; Vietnam veteran Dan Snyder, of Richwood; and U.S. Navy member Jason Ward and U.S. Air Force member Wendy Ward, both of Beaver.
“Heroes Among Us” was compiled as part of GSC’s West Virginia Veterans Legacy Project, which was established in September 2011. The project builds on the college’s World War II Heroes Project, which records and preserves the experiences of West Virginia veterans from that conflict.
“Veterans’ experiences are part of our American being,” said Jason Gum, GSC library associate and West Virginia Legacy Project leader. “A West Virginian’s story of service complements a collective identity that West Virginians can share. The Legacy Project is engaging students in realizing cross-generational traditions, values and norms that characterize the era and the region.”
Since the project began, more than 200 interviews with veterans and family and friends of deceased veterans have been conducted. Their stories and memories they have shared create a living picture of the brutality, confusion and sacrifices of war.
“In many cases, this is the last chance to capture the history of our older veterans,” commented Dr. Bob Henry Baber, GSC major gifts officer and West Virginia Veterans Legacy Project director. “Their stories are inspiring.”
Copies of the book that can be sold by veterans groups or hospitals may be obtained by contacting Baber at Bob. Baber@glenville.edu or 304-462-4125 or Gum at Jason. Gum@glenville.edu or 304-462-6163.
To further complement the project, the Beckley Veteran’s Administration Medical Center will display “A Tradition of Service” photo gallery in early 2013. The traveling photo exhibit is available to museums, art galleries, colleges and other appropriate venues at no cost. For more information about the traveling photo display, contact Baber or Gum.
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