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Posted: 10/6/2007 6:31:59 PM EDT
Is to have a book published. My Grandfather was in WWII and assaulted Omaha Beach on D-Day +1, and fought in the Battle Of The Bulge. As a kid, I would sit for hours and listen to him tell stories about him and his compatriots, while my grandmother and mom would roll their eyes and hurry out of the room. I won't be much longer and we won't be able to hear first hand accounts of their heroic deeds, as they will all have passed. I asked him if I can send him a tape recorder, and a list of questions about his service so he could tell me his story. I need to ask him the right questions to provoke detailed answers, so I can listen to the tapes and put his story to paper. I want to start from boot camp and progress from there till the end of the war. What I need from you all is, to help me word my questions well, to elicit the best response. So, what would you ask him if you could?
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:33:47 PM EDT
My Dad fought at the Battle of the Buldge too, still kicking at 83, sharp as a tack mentally too.

Good luck with the project.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:34:07 PM EDT
Do it while you still can!
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:37:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GR8TWYT:
Is to have a book published. My Grandfather was in WWII and assaulted Omaha Beach on D-Day +1, and fought in the Battle Of The Bulge. As a kid, I would sit for hours and listen to him tell stories about him and his compatriots, while my grandmother and mom would roll their eyes and hurry out of the room. I won't be much longer and we won't be able to hear first hand accounts of their heroic deeds, as they will all have passed. I asked him if I can send him a tape recorder, and a list of questions about his service so he could tell me his story. I need to ask him the right questions to provoke detailed answers, so I can listen to the tapes and put his story to paper. I want to start from boot camp and progress from there till the end of the war. What I need from you all is, to help me word my questions well, to elicit the best response. So, what would you ask him if you could?


Believe it or not there is a 'formal' set of documents to just what you're describing !! (Elicit the best responses.)

Try your local public television station. If no help, let me know and I'll try here.


5sub
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:39:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By capnrob97:
My Dad fought at the Battle of the Buldge too, still kicking at 83, sharp as a tack mentally too.

Good luck with the project.


Dear GOD, please try and get him talking on video.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:39:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 72coupe:
Do it while you still can!


Best to sit down with him in person with a list of questions to start with. No doubt, his answers will inspire new questions that you have not anticipated.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:40:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:

Originally Posted By capnrob97:
My Dad fought at the Battle of the Buldge too, still kicking at 83, sharp as a tack mentally too.

Good luck with the project.


Dear GOD, please try and get him talking on video.


Hmmmm, god idea T!
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:40:33 PM EDT


I actually walked beside a veteran from D-Day, Ohamha Beach. here in Oklahoma City. Gave me chills just to be in his presence.



5sub
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:41:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tim_the_enchanter:

Originally Posted By 72coupe:
Do it while you still can!


Best to sit down with him in person with a list of questions to start with. No doubt, his answers will inspire new questions that you have not anticipated.


Not an option as he's in TX, and I'm in OH. He doesn't sit still for very long either, always traveling and still chasing tail!
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:43:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GR8TWYT:

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:

Originally Posted By capnrob97:
My Dad fought at the Battle of the Buldge too, still kicking at 83, sharp as a tack mentally too.

Good luck with the project.


Dear GOD, please try and get him talking on video.


Hmmmm, god idea T!


+1

Idk what group it is but there is a volunteer org. that does this. Maybe you could contact them as well and set up a few interviews.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:44:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2007 6:45:24 PM EDT by 5subslr5]

Originally Posted By GR8TWYT:

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:

Originally Posted By capnrob97:
My Dad fought at the Battle of the Buldge too, still kicking at 83, sharp as a tack mentally too.

Good luck with the project.


Dear GOD, please try and get him talking on video.


Hmmmm, god idea T!


There is a push here in Oklahoma to get these veteran's stories before it's too late. JUST started maybe two weeks ago.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:46:47 PM EDT
Best wishes of it. I've tried to learn what I can from my grandfather about his service in WWII, and enjoy hearing him recount various stories.

I never did hear a word from my uncle about his service in Vietnam, his awards/medals/etc until the day we buried him. I still haven't learned much of anything about it.

Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:50:36 PM EDT
Alright fellas - now gimme some ideas for questions I can ask him.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:54:35 PM EDT
Try to get details exactly what unit he was in and what camps/bases he was at. Look into getting his DD214 if he doesn't have one (you can request it through national archives takes 3+ months). This will allow you to research and fill in the blanks.

i.e. he says "I trained at camp BLANK" then you can find out more about Camp Blank for your book.

Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:57:51 PM EDT
When I was working at the VA, I'd spend about half the appointment listening to war stories that I elicited. Yeah, it was selfish, but they liked to tell them and I liked to listen.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 6:59:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TGMoore:
Try to get details exactly what unit he was in and what camps/bases he was at. Look into getting his DD214 if he doesn't have one (you can request it through national archives takes 3+ months). This will allow you to research and fill in the blanks.

i.e. he says "I trained at camp BLANK" then you can find out more about Camp Blank for your book.



excellent advice - this is what I'm talking about!
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 10:06:54 PM EDT
What do you mean "Send him a tape recorder" Doesn't your Grandfather, and the Story warrant an in person apperance from you? I don't understand how you hope you get the full story without interacting in real time.

+1 on the video tape if possible. It will mean a lot to you at the very least.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 10:15:28 PM EDT
My grandpa assaulted iwo jima and a whole bunch of others, he was a seabee. Unfortunately he died when I was to young to realize the importance of his stories.
Link Posted: 10/6/2007 10:20:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GR8TWYT:

Originally Posted By Tim_the_enchanter:

Originally Posted By 72coupe:
Do it while you still can!


Best to sit down with him in person with a list of questions to start with. No doubt, his answers will inspire new questions that you have not anticipated.


Not an option as he's in TX, and I'm in OH. He doesn't sit still for very long either, always traveling and still chasing tail!



Where in TX?


96Ag
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 5:36:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 96Ag:

Originally Posted By GR8TWYT:

Originally Posted By Tim_the_enchanter:

Originally Posted By 72coupe:
Do it while you still can!


Best to sit down with him in person with a list of questions to start with. No doubt, his answers will inspire new questions that you have not anticipated.


Not an option as he's in TX, and I'm in OH. He doesn't sit still for very long either, always traveling and still chasing tail!



Where in TX?


96Ag


Brownsville I believe
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 5:45:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GR8TWYT:

Originally Posted By Tim_the_enchanter:

Originally Posted By 72coupe:
Do it while you still can!


Best to sit down with him in person with a list of questions to start with. No doubt, his answers will inspire new questions that you have not anticipated.


Not an option as he's in TX, and I'm in OH. He doesn't sit still for very long either, always traveling and still chasing tail!


Have him tell some stories of doing that in Europe

Can't have the whole thing about explosions and having buddies die next to you.
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 5:49:03 AM EDT
There is a guy on youtube who tells his WW2 stories via video. Nothing like hearing theat old man talk.

If you could do the same it would be awesome to watch.

Best of luck.
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 5:54:43 AM EDT
My wife's grandfather jumped into France the night before D-day...about 25 miles off from where they were supposed to have landed. Fought Jerry wherever and however they could to keep re-enforcements from reaching the invasion site. He has been interviewed a few times and will generally only talk to me about his experiences. We connect in a variety of ways and when speaks, I just listen in disbelief of the hell he went thru. He was a POW, escaped from a work camp in Poland, got captured again (and beat profusely) and then was liberated by the Russians...who stole his watch...which the Germans let him keep thru all of his ordeals. He still hates the Russians for taking his watch and to this day will not eat cabbage or turnips.
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 5:57:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MrClean4Hire:
There is a guy on youtube who tells his WW2 stories via video. Nothing like hearing theat old man talk.

If you could do the same it would be awesome to watch.

Best of luck.


Links or the guys name over there?
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 5:58:59 AM EDT
I THINK there is a program thru the Library of Congress that has a format for interviewing vets.

I got to spend a few days with my Dad last week, crabbing with him and the kids, as he told us WWII stories late into the night. (USN, VPB-117, patrol bomber/B24, Pacific).

He never much talked about it when I was a kid, but he LOVES to tell the grandkids stories. But again, all my many uncles. male relatives served in WWII, so it didn't seem to be any big deal. And it certainly wasn't to any of them.
I TRULY appreciate their service now.

Good luck.I'll look into it this week,and get my kids to do the same,as a project.
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 6:01:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By M1-Matt:

Originally Posted By MrClean4Hire:
There is a guy on youtube who tells his WW2 stories via video. Nothing like hearing theat old man talk.

If you could do the same it would be awesome to watch.

Best of luck.


Links or the guys name over there?




www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_YMigZmUuk
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 6:04:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GR8TWYT:

Originally Posted By Tim_the_enchanter:

Originally Posted By 72coupe:
Do it while you still can!


Best to sit down with him in person with a list of questions to start with. No doubt, his answers will inspire new questions that you have not anticipated.


Not an option as he's in TX, and I'm in OH. He doesn't sit still for very long either, always traveling and still chasing tail!


I like your him already!! Good luck -- sounds like you are gonna need it! If I were you I would feign an illness to get him up to OH! (But that's just me and from the sound of things he might kick you arse if you cost him the company of a fine lady!!)
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 6:08:46 AM EDT
It may help if you or him can get ahold of some letters from him when he was in the military - if they're still around.

One thing I will never forget as long as I live was the letter my Grandmother sent me when I was in Basic in 1996. Included with the letter was a letter my Grandfather sent her when he was in Basic in 1952.

There was alot of detail in his letter to her, and if he sent anything similar to his Mother or your Grandmother, it may fill in some blank spots in memory or it might jog his memory a bit. If nothing else, it would make a pretty cool addition to your book having the letter/s published with it.

-K
Link Posted: 10/7/2007 6:12:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/7/2007 6:25:05 AM EDT by panzersergeant]
I will definitely buy a copy of your book when it comes out.

Moffatt Burriss gets his car serviced at my son's shop in Columbia. My son didn't know who he was until they had a recent conversation. Burriss is a veteran of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment during World War II and fought in Europe. In his book "Skrike and Hold" he documents his experience over there.



Mr. Burriss served from 1942 until 1945 where he was a member of the 3rd BN., 504th Parachute Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division. He also served for 2 ½ years in the European Theater, invasion of Sicily and Italy, liberation of Holland, Battle of the Bulge, Ruhr Pocket, Rhine crossing and advance to Berlin. Mr. Burriss is the recipient of the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars, Purple Heart, three Presidential unit citations, French Fourragere, Belgium Fourragere and Dutch Lanyard. Mr. Burriss retired as a Major. Mr. Burriss is active in numerous civic and business organizations including past president of Executives Association of Greater Columbia, Executives Club of Columbia, Lions Club Board Member, Presbyterian Home of S.C. Board, Medical Missions Board, Life member Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, US Army Reserve Association, just to name a few.


He was portrayed in the movie "A Bridge Too Far" by none other than Robert Redford.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:17:49 PM EDT
Ist series of questions went in the mail yesterday - and I encouraged him to consider video versus audio. I was also surprised to learn that he no longer resides in TX, but migrated to FL
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