Veterans Studies Project

Date

2019-Present

Description

EKU Veterans Studies (VTS) was the nation’s first academic program designed to teach students about the unique identities, cultures, and experiences of members of the U.S. Armed Forces. VTS courses combine critical inquiry, civic engagement, and meaningful interactions between veterans and non-veterans to dispel stereotypes, highlight veterans’ strengths, and consider the veteran’s role in American society.

A key component of VTS 200 Introduction to Veterans Studies is the oral history recording completed for the William H. Berge Center. In-person and online students located throughout the country go out into their home communities each year and find veterans with unique stories and perspectives to share. These veterans come from all backgrounds and eras of service. In completing these recordings, EKU students gain real-world archival experience, deepen their understandings of course content, and engage in the type of dialogue with veterans that can help bridge the divide between military and civilian cultures.

Rights

Contact Special Collections and Archives, Crabbe Library, Eastern Kentucky University for reproductions, duplications, rights and permission to publish.

Title

Veterans Studies Project

Collection Items

Blake Pennington details his service in the United States Marine Corp. Discussions cover his entire career in the military, from enlistment to separation.

Richard Schmidt details his service in the Navy. Discussions cover his military career, his training as an air traffic controller on Naval carriers, and problems with the healthcare system for Veterans.

Donnie Burdine details his early life in Kentucky, his troubled early years, and his enlistment in the Air Force, which was suggested by a judge. In particular, Burdine comments on his choice to work as an engineer, being stationed in Korea, friends while stationed abroad, his readjustment back to civilian life, and his opinions on war and the VA.

John H. Spaulding discusses his time in the Army, his intial try out for the Marine Corps. and his eventual deployment to Vietnam. In particular, Spaulding addresses the horrors of war, his unfriendly welcome home to the United States, and his reintegration back into civilian life.

Robert Burgess discusses his time in the Navy. In particular, Burgess comments on his Naval responsibilities, the benefits of serving in the Navy, his personal religious beliefs, the GI Bill and his education, and the state of the Veteran healthcare system.

Eric B. Young Jr. discusses his childhood, time in the Navy, and his position as Master At Arms. In particular, Young details his life on a Naval carrier, education, friendships, brotherhood, mental health, the good and bad of serving, and the overall impact his service has had on his life.

Dennis Sinnett discusses his childhood, his time in the United States Navy, from enlistment to his final rank as a Captain. As a naval pilot, Sinnett comments on the different types of aircrafts he flew, as well as his experiences during deployment and the pressures of combat.

John E. Owens details his early life, his decision to enlist in the Army, and his choice to transfer to the National Gruard after 9/11. Owens shares interesting stories from basic training and his deployment to Iraq. Interview conversations also include comments on being an authority figure during conflict, the weight of holding the lives of men in…

Jon Ralls details his childhood, attending basic training in Illinois, survival training, the loneliness of deployment, his thoughts on the VA, and his time as a firefighter.

Samuel Cassidy discusses his time in the Marine Corps. In particular, Cassidy details his life in the military during the 1950's. He comments on basic training and life on Parris Island, and shares some of the life skills that he took away from the military. Cassidy also discusses his views on veteran affairs issues and the politics that go along…

James Wooley discusses his time in the service, adjusting to military life, Veterans Adminstration healthcare, veteran reintegration, as well as the challenges that Veterans face with pharmaceutical abuse and addiction.

Tabitha Flynn details her childhood in a small town and her choice to enlist in the Army. In particular, Flynn comments on basic training, her combat medic expereinces, and the moral and mental struggles of combat. Flynn also discusses her return to civilian life, starting a family, and her major take aways from military service.

Kyle Hubbs discusses his choice to enlist in the Army, his time and his experiences during his time in service, the life lessons he took from his enlistment, and the things about the military that he misses. (Interview missing)

Glenn Rogers discusses his experiences with being drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. In particular, Rogers comments on being injured, his experiences with Agent Orange, as well as his expereinces as a Prisoner of War and the effects it had on him after he returned home.

Barbra Kent details her time in the Army, her choice to enlist and the transition into military life. In particular, she comments on basic training, working in a mail room, 71 Lima MOS, drug abuse, and her life as a single parent after the military.

Katie Geily discusses her life in the Marine Corps, basic training, and her work in broadcasting and print media. In particular, Geily discusses the people she met while working in Vietnam, female Marines, discrimination in the Marines, and life after the military. She also comments on the GI Bill, starting a family, and her feelings on how the…

Robert Howard discusses his time in the National Guard, his choice to go to basic training before senior year of high school, and his deployment to Iraq. In particular, Howard comments on the politics of being in Iraq and his views on Isolationsim. He also discusses the return to civilian life, the local VFW, and the privatization of the VA. Howard…

White Daniel discusses his time in the miltary, and the return to civilian life. In particular, Daniel comments on his choice to enlist rather than be drafted, his postion in personel management, his transition back home, and his opinions on how the Vietnam War has been protrayed.

Tyson D.G. Yancy details his time in the United States Marine Corp. and some of his most memorable stories. In particular, he comments on combat expereinces, the loss of fellow soldiers, his experiences with PTSD and mental illness, and an apparent mishap in a flight suit.

Talbert G. Turner discusses his choice to enlist in the United States Navy and the experiences that helped him transition back into civilian life. In particular, Turner shares his methods for staying calm under stress, the free time in the evenings that his postion granted him, his advice for people thinking of joining, and his thoughts on how the…

Ralph Dinn details his experiences in the United States Army. In particular, he discusses his basic training experiences, the skills he was taught, coping with homesickness, his involvement in the VFW and the American Legion and the good they do for Veterans.

Barry L. Graham disscusses his choice to enlist in the Air Force, his service experiences, and his eventual return to civilian life. In particular, Graham discusses the skills he learned in the military while working on an engine line.

Richard K. Rogers details his career in the United States Air Force and his reentry into civilian life. In particular, Rogers, a fuel specialist, discusses his choice to enlist rather than be drafted, the coping mechanisms he used to get through boot camp and the challenges he faced when he was discharged. Rogers also comments on inequalities in VA…

Joel Hennings discusses his time in the Air Force, including his experiences during basic and pilot training and his eventual retirement from military service.

Travis Martin discusses his childhood and how it influenced his choice to join the military. In particular, Martin comments on building a work ethic on his family farm in Somerset, Ky, his time in the military and how it was a struggle filled with disciplinary actions and trauma. He then details his path to higher education and how he came to EKU.…

Charles Hager discusses his time in the Marines during the Vietnam War and his eventual return to civilian life after being discharged. In particular, Hager discusses his training in the Infantry, his culture shock when landing in Vietnam, and the postive and negative experiences he had overseas. He also discusses his return to civilian life and…

David R. Vickers details his childhood and his reasons for enlisting in the Army. In particular, Vickers comments on his decison to enlist, his work in the EKU ROTC program, being stationed in Vietnam, and what it was like to be in the military during the Cold War. He also discusses how his faith was a factor in his war experiences and details how…

Jesse D. Allen discusses growing up around the military, his decision to join the Army and his experiences while enlisted. In particular, Allen details his time in the Middle East while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Allen discusses the good and bad expereinces of war, the scars he brought home with him, and how he has worked to live with…

Joshua Walker discusses his time in the Marine Corps., his experiences and the losses he endured. In particular, Walker comments on the impacts of losing soldiers to IEDs, the meaning of brotherhood, his work ethic, his thoughts on the healthcare system for veterans, and, he provides advice to potential soldiers wanting to enlist.

Jon S. Hooper discusses his time in the United States Navy. In particular, Hooper comments on his time in the Perisan Gulf during Operation Southern Watch. Hooper shares stories about life on aircraft carriers, details his wartime experiences, and comments on his transition back into civilian life and the memories of his time in the service.

Monique Johnson details her time in the United States Navy, and the hardships of being deployed. In particular, she comments on what it was like to ship out, the difficulties of Basic, the struggles of being on her own, and what it was like to be a woman in a position of power in the Navy. Johnson also discuesses her transition back into civilian…

Timothy R. Tillett details his time in the Army National Guard. In particular, Tillett comments on his time in Iraq, his experiences as a transport driver, and the ways his views on the military and war changed over time.

R.D. Whitaker discusses his childhood and his experiences during the Vietnam War. In particular, Whitaker comments on his family, being drafted, how his faith helped him through battle training, his eventual position as rifleman, the terrible food, the reasons his re-enlistmentment was denied, and how he lives with PTSD. Whitaker also shares his…

Micheal Jones details his time the Air Force during Vietnam. In particular, Jones comments on his struggle between serving or moving to Canada, his reluctance to go overseas, being stationed in the states, and the impacts of seeing his friends suffer PTSD and chemical injuries. He continues by explaining his easy transition back into civilian life,…

Benton D. Shirey discusses his time in the United States Navy. In particular, Shirey comments on his time in the Medical Corps, his training, how it effected his family life, the Reagan Era military, and what it was like to serve during the Cold War. He also discusses his thoughts on the difficulties of returning to civilian life, and the services…

Retired Colonel David R. Alexander recounts his time in the miltiary, from his begingings in ROTC to ending his career as a Colonel. In particular, Col. Alexander comments on his experiences in the Middle East during the Gulf War and Operation Desert Shield. Col. Alexander also details how he led his troops during these times, as well as what it is…

Master Sargeant Barry Fraiser details his 23 year career in the Air Force as a medic. In particular, Fraiser comments on his reasons for enlistment, why he chose the Air Force, basic training, his first impressions, medic training, and the people he met while deployed. He also discusses being homesick, his retirement, and how the military shaped…

Sargeant Christopher Petzke discusses his experiences in the United States Army. In particular, Petzke comments on his deployment to Iraq, his reasons for enlisting, and how he juggles the military and a family of nine.

Jesse Clark discusses his childhood, and his time in the Air Force. In particular, Clark comments on his role models as child, his reasons for enlisting, and his experiences while enlisted.

Matthew Kenney details his childhood and his time in the United States Army. In particular, Kenney discusses his childhood mentors, enlisting, basic training in Oklahoma, being stationed in Djibouti, the friendships he made, and how the men would pass the downtime. Kenney concludes with his thoughts on reintergrating after a deployment.

Amanda Cummins discusses her time in the United States Army from the perpective of being female. In particular, Cummins, who is married to a Sailor, discusses juggling family life and solidering, her Afghanistan deployment, coping with life after deployment, and her views on how Veterans are treated.

PFC Eric Alexander Poynter recounts his time in the United States Army. In particular, Poynter comments on his time in basic training and the friendships he developed while enlisted. He also shares his advice for those who are currently thinking about joining the Armed Forces.

Ret. Lt. Col. Randy Singleton details is 36 year career in the United States Army. In particular, Singleton details his reasons for enlisting, the many places he visited, working with NATO forces during the Cold War, living away from his family, the people he served with, and his return to civilian life once he retired.

Brian w. Gayheart discusses his time in the United States Army. In particular, Gayheart details his experiences during deployments and combat missions, shares his thoughts on being a crew member on a M1A1 tank, and, he traces his eventual path to higher education.

Chris Linder discusses his time in the United States Marines Corps., his deployments, and his return to civilian life. In particular, Linder comments on his deployment to Iraq during Desert Storm and a second deployment that was riddled with politcs and ever changing Rules of Engagement. He also details his involvement in humanitarian missions in…

Danny Cline discusses his time in the Army during Vietnam. In particular, Cline comments on being drafted, going to boot camp, being shipped to Vietnam, trying to handle the stress of being in a combat zone, the process of desensitization in a war zone, and the reception he received when he returned home.

Jeffrey Lynes details is life from childhood to his military career. In particular, Lynes comments on his mentors, the role religion has played in his life, his decision to attend West Point, life at West Point, and the Army Aviation Branch. Lynes also details the ins and outs of having to stay calm under fire, what its like to be a helicopter…

Cherise N. Haney discuess her time in the United States Air Force, her positon as a MP, and what it's like to get deployed. In particular, Haney discusses being a MP for Detainee Operations, rocket attacks, being female in the military, and the gender discrimination she faced and how it impacted her place in authority. She also discusses the things…

Ret. Master Chief Daniel Brindley details his twenty-five year career in the United States Army. Brindley faced an early discharge for an injury, but he re-enlisted three years later. In particular, Brindley discusses what it was like to serve during the Cold War, his time in Panama during the Noriega Regime, his deployments to the Middle East…

Captain Darcie Cunningham discusses her twenty-four year career in the Coast Guard. Interview topics include, but are not limted to, gender discrimination, sexual harrassment, and her views on how the Veterans Affairs Department handles mental illness in its veterans.
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