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The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center Cares About Your Story!

If Soldiers don’t talk about their experiences, how will future generations know what occurred? How can U.S. Army leaders learn from the past if no one writes it down? As a Soldier or Leader, where will your story be preserved? It is questions like those that spurred the creation of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) in Carlisle, PA.  After utilizing the Soldier collections at USAHEC for his Pulitzer Prize winning book, author Rick Atkinson stated, “[USAHEC] is a national treasure beyond value” that is growing in popularity. Though pieces of the organization have existed for decades, the USAHEC has continued to flourish by “telling the Army story…one Soldier at a time.” The USAHEC’s goal is to make available contemporary and historical materials related to strategic leadership and U.S. Army heritage to inform research, educate an international audience, and honor Soldiers, past and present.  The USAHEC accomplishes its mission by continuing to reach out to Veterans from all over the country to collect, and make available to a broad audience, their stories.
 
The Veteran Survey Program began as an attempt to collect Soldier stories from surviving Spanish-American War Veterans during the late 1960s. Surprisingly, thousands of Veterans sent in their memories coupled with their Army “stuff,” creating the core of the Veterans Survey collection. Today, the USAHEC approaches the collection of Soldier history and historical materials much differently.  We have expanded the quest for stories and launched the Veterans Ambassador Program (VAP) as a pilot program in 2014. For the past two years, Veterans, Soldiers, interns, and volunteers have collected hours of oral histories from privates and general offices alike, helping to preserve these Soldier’s stories for future generations.
 
As part of the USAHEC Collection, Veteran Surveys are used for a variety of purposes, including: informing Army Leadership on historical topics, as research sources for authors and journalists, in graduate school theses and papers, by genealogists looking to piece together their family history, by teachers in their classrooms, and for displays in the USAHEC’s exhibits. Many Veterans think no one is interested in their piece of history. The USAHEC chartered to let the Soldier know that the army cares about their history, their story. General Milley, Secretary of the Army, wrote it best in the winter edition of Echoes:, “The Army continues to call upon you, our Soldiers for Life, to tell your Army story about your selfless service to our nation. By sharing your Army story you strengthen the bond between the Army and the people we have sworn to defend.” 
 
If you are interested in telling your story, please contact the USAHEC at 717-245-3972 or usarmy.carlisle.awc.mbx.ahec-ves@mail.mil