StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of people from all backgrounds and beliefs, will team up with Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) as part of its Military Voices Initiative. Together, they will honor Wisconsin’s veteran and military community by recording and preserving their stories.
WPR is reaching out to military and veterans’ organizations across the state and is especially interested in recording the experiences of veterans and service members from underrepresented and marginalized populations in our state. These include women, African American, Latinx, Native American, Hmong/Lao and LGBTQ veterans among others. Reservations to record can now be made by calling StoryCorps’ 24-hour, toll-free reservation line at 800-850-4406 or visiting storycorps.org.
In conjunction with StoryCorps’ virtual visit to Wisconsin, WPR will host a free public, virtual listening event on July 23 at 7 p.m. to introduce StoryCorps to the community and to share stories recorded with veterans and their families. This event is open to anyone interested in StoryCorps regardless of veteran status. Event and reservation details are available at wpr.org/presents.
“From our partnership with PBS Wisconsin on the LZ Lambeau Welcome Home project, to our work with the Wisconsin Veterans Museum and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. on ‘Wisconsin Remembers,’ we have been honored to help tell the story of Wisconsin’s veterans and their families over the past decade,” said WPR Director Mike Crane. “All of it has been personal. All of it has been powerful. This opportunity with StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative is a very special continuation of that commitment.”
Nearly half a million people of all backgrounds and beliefs have recorded a StoryCorps conversation. The organization preserves the recordings in its archive at the Library of Congress, the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered. In a StoryCorps interview, two people are able to record a meaningful conversation with one another about who they are, what they’ve learned in life, and how they want to be remembered.
The Military Voices Initiative builds on this notion and contributes to StoryCorps’ diverse collection by recording and preserving the stories of veterans, service members, and military families. It is an opportunity for them to share their experiences in their own words. It is also an opportunity for civilians to understand more clearly the complex realities of veterans’ service and sacrifice.