Announcing the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Project

B-17 pilot Tom Wiley reflects on his 50 missions over Europe in WWII with the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh

I’m pleased to announce that the Veterans Breakfast Club has teamed with Kevin Farkas of the Social Voice Project, Chris Rolinson of StartPoint Media, and Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum to launch a new transmedia oral history project that seeks to capture, preserve, and share the experiences of Pittsburgh-area veterans of all branches of service and eras, including peace and war-time service.  We’re calling our initiative the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh.“We want to honor and thank Pittsburgh area veterans for their service by giving them a chance to tell their stories, on their own terms, and in their own way,” says Kevin Farkas, himself a Navy veteran.  “All veterans have remarkable stories of patriotism, sacrifice, and bravery.  To fully understand and appreciate veterans’ experiences, we need to hear these stories as well.”

Capturing the voices of  the WWII veterans is a priority.  We’re striving to reach as many as we can before they pass away.  Once a veteran dies we’ve lost an important eye witness to history.

The Veteran Voices of Pittsburghproject uses high definition technology, formatting, and techniques

Todd DePastino (l) and Chris Rolinson (r) prepare to interview Merchant Marine Howard Pfeifer for the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh project.

to enhance oral histories. “We want to enrich the oral history experience, inspire the imagination, and warm the heart. High quality design, direction, and multimedia are essential for us,” says Chris Rolinson, Army veteran and award winning videographer. “Unlike most oral history projects, our interviews are presented in dedicated audiographic, videographic, and written media.  Each genre yields a different experience, and the different media make the interviews accessible through a variety of platforms, including websites, social media, mobile devices, and print.  We want these veterans’ stories to be widely accessible, not hidden away in an obscure archive.”

Every veteran has a story.  I look forward to sharing some of them here.

Tom Wiley (r) shares a memory with Navy veteran Al Crawford (l) between interviews with the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh.