Veterans History Project
I believe we owe an enormous debt to our men and women in uniform. A great way to show our gratitude is to encourage them to share their memories and experiences. This is why my office is participating in the Veterans History Project (VHP). The VHP allows veterans and their families to record their stories and preserve them for future generations. These recordings are entered into the permanent collection in the Library of Congress, where they will serve as a permanent reminder of the sacrifices these men and women made defending our country.
The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. You can search the database where more than 80,000 stories have been collected. Over 10,000 of those stories have also been digitized and are accessible online.
The Project collects first-hand accounts of U.S. Veterans from the following wars:
- World War I (1914-1920)
- World War II (1939-1946)
- Korean War (1950-1955)
- Vietnam War (1961-1975)
- Persian Gulf War (1990-1995)
- Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts (2001-present)
In addition, those U.S. citizen civilians who were actively involved in supporting war efforts (such as war industry workers, USO workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers, etc.) are also invited to share their valuable stories.
The Veteran’s History Project has collected nearly 80,000 stories and testimonials to date but there are more stories to be told. I urge you to take the time to not only thank our veterans and remember our country’s fallen soldiers, but also to ask the veterans in your life to record their stories. They serve as the most significant memorial we can possibly give to our nation’s fallen and living veterans.
Recording your Story
More and more veterans are returning home every day. Recording your story or the story of a friend or family member is easy. All you need is a video camera or recorder. In fact, veterans are also welcome to submit personal manuscripts and drawings. All interviews must also be at least 30 minutes in length and documents must be a specific number of pages.
Click here to see exactly what the Library of Congress accepts.
The first step is to register using an online form. Next, print out the VHP Field Kit, which also includes forms to submit. You can then prepare for and conduct your interview. Lastly, send your collection to the Library of Congress or drop it off at one of our offices and we can send it for you. But make sure to keep a copy for yourself!
Students and VHP
The Veterans History Project is a great opportunity for students at the high school and college level, as well as for scout troops and service groups, to get involved in the community. Sample materials and guidelines for student and youth participation can be found here.
In fact, an entire curriculum has been developed to help incorporate VHP into the classroom. For more information, visit the VHP website or contact my office.
The Veterans History Project needs volunteers! Community organizations, veterans organizations, and service groups, among others, make great partners. My office is currently working to find additional partners to ensure the collection of stories and project success for years to come. If you are interested in becoming a partner, please contact my office at 309-786-3406.
Current partners include:
1001 Michigan Ave.
Galesburg, IL 61401
Peoria Public Library
107 N.E. Monroe St.
Peoria, IL 61602
Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois, Inc.
2319 E. War Memorial Dr.
Peoria, IL 61614
In Touch Adult Day and Home Care Services
4011 Avenue of the Cities
Moline, IL 61265
For a list of current partners in other parts of Illinois, click here.
Military Academy Nominations
Thank you for your interest in the U.S. Service Academies. As your 17th District Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, each year I have the privilege of nominating a limited number of people to four of the five service academies. The honor of attending a service academy comes with an obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation.
For more information, please review my page of Frequently Asked Questions for those seeking a Military Academy Nomination.
You can download an application form here.
The application period for our office opens in August of each year and closes at 5:00pm on Friday, November 18, 2016 for those candidates who are incoming high school seniors or who have already graduated.
Best wishes to you as you pursue your goal of attending one of the U.S. Service Academies and serving our country.
The following information is for military personnel. Please contact our office for assistance with any questions or problems you may have.
- U.S. Air Force
- U.S. Army
- U.S. Coast Guard
- U.S. Marine Corps
- U.S. Navy
- Tax Information for Members of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Academy Nominations
- Additional resources and information for active duty and reserve military families
- Additional resources (including birth certificates, consumer protection, disaster preparedness, and unclaimed property)
The following information is for veterans. Please contact our office for assistance with any questions or problems you may have.
- How can I contact the Department of Veterans Affairs?
- How can I get education benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill?
- How can I get medical benefits?
- How can I get information on suicide prevention?
- How can I get a home loan?
- How can I get life insurance?
- How can I get vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits?
- How can I get survivor benefits?
- What drug benefits are available?
- How can I get a copy of my military records?
- How can I apply for a medal, award, or decoration that I earned while in the service?
- What other services are available to me?
More information and help
- Where can I get more information on Federal benefits for veterans?
- Where can I get more information on Illinois benefits for veterans?
- Where can I get help getting my veterans benefits?
Information for Military Personnel.
Additional resources, including birth certificates, consumer protection, disaster preparedness, and unclaimed property.