Looking for veterans

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By The Staff

My name is Kyle Nappi. I am 17 years old and I live in Ostrander, Ohio. I was wondering if you could do me a favor.

I have a big interest in history, specifically World War II. I collect military medals, patches, badges, insignia, field gear and a very unique thing, veterans' autographs. I have a scrapbook collection of autographs from military veterans who served during WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War and the present war in Iraq.

I have been interested in history for more than five years now, and I have collected the autographs and stories from nearly 1,600 veterans in 20 countries. The oldest veteran was 111 years old and the youngest is presently serving in Iraq.

I have autographs from Pearl Harbor survivors, D-Day veterans, airman, POWs, USS Indianapolis survivors, Holocaust survivors, and even German soldiers!

I personally believe that war history is an interesting subject, and one worth the time to study. It is a shame when people, especially my age, have no idea about the events of the past. When we were watching the Omaha Beach scene on "Saving Private Ryan" in my social studies class, one my classmates asked the teacher if we were fighting the Japanese!

I have recently begun branching out to the German side of WWII and it is a very interesting subject. I have contacted U-Boat captains, Panzer Tank Commanders, Luftwaffe Aces, Conspirators within the Third Reich, and the last people to see Hitler alive in the bunker in Berlin. Some of them were younger than I am when they were being ordered to fight until the last man!

Two years ago, I was able to fly in a B-17, and a WWII POW was one of the other passengers!

I have also been to Washington, D.C., and was able to see all of the war memorials. It was a great trip, because I had the honor of laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Va.

I have also had the privilege of visiting the Wilson's Creek battlefield, outside of Springfield, Mo. It was one of the first battles of the Civil War, in which the first Union general was killed since the war of 1812. At one point, I was standing on Bloody Hill, in which nearly 1,600 soldiers where killed. It was very moving.

I have attached a questionnaire that I always send to the veterans that I contact. If you are able to contact any military veterans, would you mind to provide them with a copy of my questionnaire? If they could receive a copy of my questionnaire, answer the questions, autograph it, and mail it to me for my collection, I would really appreciate it.

If this is not possible, would there be a way to "post" my request?

Again, if you could put me in touch with any military veterans, I would really appreciate it. Please let me know if this is possible. Thank you very much for your time.

Kyle Nappi

Ostrander, Ohio

u A copy of the questionnaire is available at the CKNJ office, 428 Woodlawn Ave.