Goodwill®, StoryCorps Record Veterans’ Stories for Military Voices Initiative

Vincent and Tusdae Barnes pose by American flag after recording their storyLast week, Goodwill Industries International, in partnership with Goodwill Industries of Houston and StoryCorps, completed a series of recordings as part of the StoryCorps Military Voices Initiative.

Twelve veterans served by Goodwill Houston shared their stories during the two-day recording session. Each conversation will be preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Among those who shared their stories were a sixth generation veteran who chose the military over playing college football, an Iraqi veteran who served in nine different countries and a veteran who served on special ops team during his enlistment.

The initiative, which began in July 2012, runs through November 2013, and aims to record the stories of more than 700 post-9/11 veterans, active-duty service members, and their families. GII and Goodwill Houston intend to use the stories collected during these recording days to promote the valuable contributions veterans make to their families and the workforce. Sharing these stories of veterans’ military and transitioning experiences with employers and members of the public will help communities better understand the history and skills these veterans bring to the civilian workforce.

StoryCorps facilitator John White talks to two participants. “Veterans are civic assets and leaders. As a nonprofit whose commitment to supporting veterans transition to civilian life dates back to World War I, we are honored to be part of the StoryCorps Military Voices Initiative,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “The initiative will amplify our veterans’ important stories, build support and appropriately honor them.”

StoryCorps, the largest oral history project of its kind, provides Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve their stories. A select number of interviews are edited for national broadcast and aired on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday. The project is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and The Boeing Company.

Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 45,000 interviews with nearly 90,000 participants.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this initiative with StoryCorps. We feel that veterans are one of our nation’s greatest assets, and we are proud that Houston is a national leader in serving them,” says Goodwill Houston President and CEO Steve Lufburrow.