Saving the Legacy: An Oral History of Utah's Veterans
Every veteran has a unique story to tell of his or her experience. Each story is a vital part of the larger story of our nation's history. A record of these stories is critical to understanding our past. If we do not offer an opportunity to preserve these stories, they will be lost forever. The American West Center at the University of Utah and the Fort Douglas Military Museum administer an oral history project called Saving the Legacy: An Oral History of Utah's Veterans. Veterans, living in Utah, from all of the services and ranks, and all wars* are being interviewed by university researchers. More than 600 veterans have already been interviewed. The interviews are recorded, then transcribed and stored in the Special Collections Department of the Marriott Library at the University of Utah. They will be available to the public (or can be kept anonymous), including veterans' families and friends, and historians, for posterity. Saving the Legacy is funded entirely through private donations and grants; it receives no funding from the University, and we do not charge to do interviews. The number of veterans we can interview is determined by the amount of funding we can collect. If you would like to contribute to this effort to preserve the legacy of our veterans, please call the Center at (801) 581-7611 or you may make a secure online donation through the University of Utah Online Giving Form.
Vietnam Veterans Oral History Project
On this, the 50th Anniversary of the Second Tonkin Gulf Incident, the American West Center is proud to announce the launch of the Vietnam War Oral History Project. Using interviews, the project will document how American involvement in Southeast Asia changed Utah and the United States. The Center has begun interviewing veterans, members of the Vietnamese community, civilians, and government personnel—people involved in any way with the Vietnam War. We invite the Utah community to contribute their stories and help us preserve the legacy of this important period in our history. The Vietnam War Oral History Project marks a new chapter in the Center’s long-standing commitment to documenting the service of Utah’s veterans.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Oral History Project
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Oral History Project was created in 2008 as an extension of Saving the Legacy: An Oral History of Utah’s Veterans. Over the previous decade Saving the Legacy oral historians recorded over 500 interviews with World War II veterans as well as a handful of interviews with veterans of the Korean War and the American War in Vietnam. The Iraq and Afghanistan veterans project builds on this experience and on that garnered from the almost 10,000 interviews Center researchers have taken over the last 40 years. Click here to browse histories or search the database.
If you are a veteran and would like to be interviewed please contact the Center at (801) 581-7611. If you know any veterans, please pass this information on to them.
* The World War II veterans project was completed in 2012.