Guest Column:

One of our nation’s most valuable resources is our veterans. They have fought for our country abroad and continued serving here at home. They are woven into the fabric of our nation’s history, and its future, having seen first-hand the events that have shaped our country. In addition to those who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, there are thousands of young veterans from the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

There are common threads to these generations, and great differences too. Their stories and experiences are a part of our history, and must be preserved for future generations. That is why I am so proud to have our district be a part of the Veterans History Project, sponsored by the Library of Congress, in order to collect the memories, photographs, correspondence and more of the veterans of the Foothills. We will be conducting interviews in our San Dimas office from July 6-17.

The Veterans History Project was created by Congress in 2000 and is administered through the Library of Congress. Since its inception nearly a decade ago, my office has collected over 400 stories for the Veterans History Project (VHP). The Project also looks to hear from veterans’ family members and civilians who may have been professionally involved in supporting war efforts such as industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, contractors, and others.

In addition to interviews captured on video, the Veterans History Project also seeks to collect original photographs, memoirs, diaries, and correspondence that might provide insights to war-time experiences. Once collected, the stories and documents are housed at the Library of Congress and are made available to researchers and the general public, both at the Library in Washington, D.C. and via the VHP web site

The stories we have heard in our own office are often moving and always informative. We spoke with James McEachin about his experiences in the Korean War, where he served in the United States Army’s 2nd Division, 9th Infantry Regiment, K, I and M Company from October 1950 to September 1953, and earned a number of decorations, including the Silver Star and Purple Heart. Vincenzo Di Mauro also shared his military service with our office. He served as a member of the United States Army’s 28th Infantry Division, 110th Infantry Regiment, F Company during World War II, in November 1944. During his service, he earned several decorations as well, including the Purple Heart.

As Memorial Day approaches, we will pause to remember our veterans and their fellow service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. If you or someone in your family has served in the military, I hope that you will consider participating in this year’s Veterans History Project.

Please call my office at (909) 575-6226 to schedule an interview. We could all benefit from the stories you have to tell and the wisdom gained through your experiences and service.

REP. DAVID DREIER (R-San Dimas) represents La Cañada Flintridge and several other communities along the foothills.

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