Last year I was approached by a teacher in Vietnam named Ngoc Diệu Nguyễn who was creating a program to share on Microsoft Education called War Stories. Nguyễn was planning to bring healing to students, veterans of both sides of the Vietnam war, and the world through her program. I was happy to participate because helping the world heal from war is one of my missions.
Program Description from the website:
This collaborative project aims at sparking understanding, empathy, compassion and spreading peace by giving students the chance to talk to veterans, their family members and then share the untold frontline and home front stories with the world.
It is widely accepted that ‘History is written by the victors’ (Winston Churchill). So how much do we really know about history? This collaboration will open students’ eyes and hearts to the connections historically and emotionally shared between the Vietnamese and Americans or among people directly and indirectly involved in any wars in the history. These connections can be felt regardless of war or time or place.
At the completion of the project, students will be able to develop their interviewing, writing, editing skills, their emotional skills and other 21st century skills including Collaboration, Communication, Creativity & Innovation, Self-Direction, Making Global Connections, Making Local Connections, Using Technology as a Tool for Learning. For those learning English as a foreign language or a second language, their four language skills are expected to be improved as well.
If you watch the video, you will see me and a little about my participation and meet many others who contributed to the project. I also gave permission for some of the writing prompts out of my book, Stories from the WWII Battlefield: Volume 3 Writing the Stories of War. This allowed students who do not have access or funds to purchase books, to have additional resources to use when interviewing family members or veterans. Be sure to scroll down the entire page she has set up to meet many other contributors and learn more about the project.
Ngoc asked for my expertise in military research and writing after having been referred to me by David Estes a Vietnam veteran, who runs the Livingston Country War Museum, in Pontiac, IL. David participates in Skype in the Classroom and connected with Ngoc that way. The war museum is an amazing place and worth a several hour visit if you are near Pontiac. You never know who will walk in the door (think veterans with beautiful smiles, lots of energy, laughter, and so many stories!) You can view interviews I conducted with some of the veterans at the museum and a tour of the museum, on my YouTube Channel.
To learn more about War Stories, you can explore the following links.
- An overview and progress report.
- Where some interactions between students and veterans take place https://flipgrid.com/du79l3w Use password: warstories2018
- Facebook page
Would you like to contribute to the project or contact Ngoc to ask questions or participate in an interview? You can email Ngọc.
© 2019 WWII Research & Writing Center