Rutgers Camden Record History Project to Honor Student Veterans

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To honor the history, experience and sacrifices of student Veterans, a small group of Rutgers Camden students and faculty members have taken on the task of conducting a Veterans History Project. The Veterans History Project, sponsored by the Library of Congress, intends to make the experiences of America’s Veterans accessible to provide future generations with the experience, history and reality of warfare from the men and women who served.

The Veterans History Project at Rutgers Camden consists of a compilation of veteran biographical, service, and combat data for those that have served in any of the armed forces and fought in any battles, ranging from World War II through the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Veterans share their information including combat tours, experiences and stories, and then divulge information about received awards and their service record. These first-hand account interviews are then sent to the Library of Congress where it will remain for eternity. The public will be able to download and watch these interviews at any time. They serve as a reminder for all military actions.

It does not surprise me that Rutgers University would welcome the noble task of honoring our veterans. After all, if not for an American Revolutionary War Veteran, Rutgers University would not be. Originally, Rutgers University was named Queens College. Queens College was chartered in November 1766 and by 1812 it was suffering from economic and financial difficulties. Queens College was forced to temporarily close. In time, due to a large financial contribution in 1825 by Colonel Henry Rutgers, the college was reopened and named after him.

Under the guidance of Rutgers University-Camden Professor Ken Hohing, Rutgers students Joshua Piccoli and Alicia Silverman have been working tirelessly for more than a year documenting, collecting and preserving the personal accounts of Rutgers Camden’s American War and student Veterans.

Professor Hohing, who works for the Department of Fine Arts, spoke about the Veterans History Project. “Everyday people really have no way of connecting in shared life experiences with Veterans, particularly on college campuses. This project can both educate and promote positive images of our University’s student veterans and help to dispel may negative stereotypes and views that some may have.”

Robert Emmons, another Rutgers staff member who works in the Digital Studies Center, is also involved in this project. Mr. Emmons has been instrumental in ensuring microphone, sound and video checks are in place prior to the conducted interviews. Emmons said, “this project is a fantastic way for Rutgers University to both collect and make a contribution to American history.”

“This will be a way for your legacy to be carried on for future generations and will allow your family or friends to download your interview years down the road. Just think, your great-great-grandchildren will be able to access your interview generations from now,” said Piccoli, secretary of the Student Veterans at Rutgers Camden (SVRC) organization.

Interested in becoming involved? Contact Joshua Piccoli, at ova@camden.rutgers.edu. For more information on the project visit http://www.loc.gov/vets/about.html.

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