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More than a half-century ago, they traveled thousands of miles from home to defend the world against tyranny. Many never returned. Those who survived World War II went on with their lives, contributing to the communities they call home.
Time is catching up with these veterans. On average, 1,100 World War II veterans die each day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. With them die their stories of courage during a time of great uncertainty and a challenge to global peace and democracy.
Several students at Campbellsville University are making an effort to record the stories of local World War II veterans. To do that, though, they need your help.
Students in MAC 440 Advanced Reporting and Newswriting are writing individual stories about local World War II veterans. They have identified many veterans, but need help in locating others.
"We want to tell the stories of all of our World War II veterans," said Stan McKinney, assistant professor of journalism at Campbellsville University who teaches the class. "I am hopeful that these stories will be kept in the archives at local libraries, will be published and possibly even be compiled into a book."
If you are a World War II veteran or know anyone who is, contact McKinney at 789-5035 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. His students will be contacting the veterans, interviewing them and writing their stories this semester.
"These stories are going to disappear if someone doesn't record them," said Rachel Crenshaw, a student in the class and a mass communication major.
The class would also like to borrow photos of the veterans from World War II, if possible. They will be scanned and returned unharmed.
"Years ago I wrote several stories about those from Taylor County who died during World War II and all other wars," said McKinney, who is a former news editor of the Central Kentucky News-Journal.
"I will never forget many of those stories. Recording and sharing these stories will bring history alive and help us realize the sacrifices that were made so we can live in peace and enjoy freedom," said Brittany Bryant, who is also a member of the class and a mass communication major.
McKinney asks that names of World War II veterans be submitted no later than March 10.