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Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project

In going to war, every army has one mission: to win. But each soldier in that army and each supporting civilian has a mission, too. Those missions may be as simple as survival or as tangled as an espionage assignment. Not all know the nature of their missions when war begins, but experiencing war helps define them and the means they'll need to accomplish them.

Featured Story: Alvin Dickson
Image of Jeanne Holm

"There was a saying in the service that the veterans live longer..."

D-Day was only the beginning for Allied forces intent on recapturing Europe from German domination. Alvin Dickson was one of thousands of soldiers whose job sounded simple: take back every town and every farm, and don’t stop until you reach Berlin or the Germans surrender. As an officer in the 11th Armored Division, Dickson saw his troops succeed because of superb training and the motivation of a clear-cut mission.

John Walter Earle's StoryGo and experience
Alvin Dickson's story
Experience more storie of Mission more stories

"Our mission is at once the oldest and the most basic of this country: to right wrong, to do justice, to serve man."                          -- President Lyndon B. Johnson

Image of Rafael Hirtz

"I think we had a harder time competing against [the F.B.I.] than we did against the Germans..."

Rafael Hirtz's story

Image of William Frederick Nice

"I felt well enough ... but I didn't want to face a military court so I went to the hospital..."

William Frederick Nice's story

Image of Joseph Pitts

"We don't go to war to occupy and take over and dominate; we [go] to liberate..."

Joseph Pitts' story

Image of Edward Schrock

"Most of the guys that lost their lives in Vietnam lost them in the last thirty days..."

Edward Schrock's story

Image of Joseph Steinbacker

"... we could expect to be in the thick of things all the way to Tokyo..."

Joseph Steinbacher's story

Image of Ronald Winter

" don't turn your back on [a friend] when the going gets a little nasty..."

Ronald Winter's story

  The Library of Congress
  February 18, 2004
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