LOC Webcast Spotlights Disabled Veterans - GovernmentVideo.com

LOC Webcast Spotlights Disabled Veterans

“The Unhealed Wounds,” addresses the lives of veterans of four wars with afflictions from amputated limbs to severe facial trauma to post-traumatic stress disorder.
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Memorial Day is over till next year, but the Library of Congress is helping honor veterans with a new Webcast, “The Unhealed Wounds,” probing the lives of veterans of four wars with afflictions from amputated limbs to severe facial trauma to post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP), a program of the American Folklife Center, produced the Webcast, available at www.loc.gov/vets/.

"This presentation is a testament to the men and women who struggle not to allow their disabilities to become obstacles," said VHP Director Bob Patrick. "We trust people will read these stories and be inspired to contribute their own unique narratives—or interview a veteran for the Veterans History Project."

Among the eight veterans profiled in the presentation is Arthur Guerrero, who arrived in Vietnam in September 1966 as a member of the 1st Cavalry Division. On his first mission in the field, he saw the man next to him killed and others around him wounded. He escaped injury that time, but he wasn’t so fortunate seven months later. Horribly wounded, Guerrero hung on to life and underwent extensive rehabilitation. "I never thought of myself as being courageous, but self-sustaining," he told a VHP interviewer many years later. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 10 years after his wounding, and from his wheelchair he has been fighting another battle—this one for veterans’ rights to the best medical care possible.

The new online presentation also showcases the experience of Connie Spinks, who served in Iraq with a U.S. Army civil affairs battalion. A suicide bomber set off his charge next to her armored vehicle, and the explosion severely injured her and burned her face. She spent four months in a wheelchair before she could walk on her own. Spinks received her Purple Heart from a very special fan of the military—movie star Denzel Washington.

The Veterans History Project was created in 2000 by Congress to record the first-hand remembrances of American service personnel in major conflicts beginning with World War I, and it actively collects veterans’ personal accounts of the Global War on Terror. There are more than 60,000 individual stories in the collection to date. The project relies on volunteers to record veterans’ remembrances.

Volunteer interviewers may also request information at vohp@loc.gov or at (888) 371-5848.