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Dept. of Aging collecting 1940s, WWII stories from homefront and front lines

FPS staff report

The Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) and Ohio Department of Veterans Services have announced the launch of the departments’ joint War Era Story Project.

The effort will pick up where the Department of Aging’s award-winning 2009 Great Depression Story Project left off by collecting Ohioans’ memories from the start of World War II through the 1940s. The agencies are seeking stories by the people who lived them - from veterans of World War II, to the men, women and children who held steady on the home front.

“We want to continue to help our elders tell their personal tales of sacrifice, perseverance and recovery during some of the most challenging and influential times in our nation’s history,” said Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “Whether they fought in the war, raised a family or grew up during the tumultuous 1940s here at home, our elders can teach us many things about thriving during adversity.”

“The Second World War forever changed America; it challenged the nation and the world in ways that today’s young people may never experience,” added Col. Thomas N. Moe, director of Ohio Department of Veterans Services. “It remains critical that we learn from the generations that preceded us so their lessons can help guide us into a prosperous future.”

Stories should focus on the storytellers’ experiences during the war and the years that followed, and should be 500 to 1,000 words long.  Photographs can be included but cannot be returned. Send stories with the author’s name, location and current age to:

Ohio Department of Aging,
Attn: War Era Story Project,

50 W. Broad St. / 9th Floor,

Columbus, OH 43215-3363.

Stories can be emailed to WarEraStories@age.state.oh.us.

For the first time, the department is accepting video stories via YouTube. Videos should be no more than 10 minutes long. Upload the video to your personal YouTube account (available for free at YouTube.com), then e-mail the link to the address above or share it on the department’s page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/OhioDeptOfAging). Stories should be received by July 31, 2012.

Excerpts from stories received will be posted to the Department of Aging’s website around Veteran’s Day in November. Full stories will be featured in the department’s free e-newsletter, Boomerang. Visit www.aging. ohio.gov/news/boomerang/ to read and subscribe.

The Great Depression Story Project, conducted in 2009, gained national media attention and was named a “Notable Government Document” by Library Journal. It included more than 1,000 excerpts from over 300 submissions and has been viewed more than 38,000 times on the Department of Aging’s website.

For more information about the Ohio Department of Aging and programs offered, visit www.aging.ohio.gov.

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