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"Military Medicine" is a new selection of 20 collections of materials submitted by veterans and civilians to the Veterans History Web site.

Dorothy Walters Cutts and a child at Walter Reed Army Hospital Memorandum on Gas Poisoning in Warfare with Notes on Its Pathology and Treatment

 

This is the sixth set of individual stories -- comprising interviews, letters, photographs and written memoirs -- to be featured in "Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project." The latest addition of stories focuses on military medicine and highlights personal accounts from doctors, nurses and individuals providing medical support.

Other themes that can be explored in "Experiencing War" include "POWs in Germany," "D-Day on the Beach," "Life-Altering Moments," "Sweethearts," "Family Ties" and "Buddies."

One of the featured "Military Medicine" veterans, Glenn Wyler, was that rare soldier who served tours of duty in both major theaters of World War II, working as ship's physician on a troop transport vessel. His often colorful, two-volume memoir, which totals more than 250 typed pages, "The Buzzard's Tale," changes only the names of the men and the ship. Raised in Utah, Wyler had no desire to go to sea, but the Army assigned him to the "Buzzard," which sailed the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific oceans.

During Frances M. Liberty's 28 years in the Army Nurse Corps, she served in three wars and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Her assignments ranged from landing on the beach at Anzio, Italy, in World War II and supplying a hospital train in Korea to caring for celebrity patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. When Liberty enlisted in 1943, she recounts in her oral history, "They weren't really prepared to handle women."

Yeiichi Kelly Kuwayama, the son of Japanese immigrants, was a Princeton graduate working at the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in New York in 1940 when he was drafted. The attack on Pearl Harbor dashed any chance that his stint in the Army would be short-lived, and after being bounced around in administrative jobs at out-of-the-way bases, he grabbed an opportunity to join the Japanese American 442nd Regiment, whose motto was "Go for Broke," and trained as a medic. The 442nd became one of the most decorated units in American military history.

The Veterans History Project's Web site continues to feature an interactive guide to "Voices of War," [www.loc.gov/voicesofwar/] the first book drawn from its collections, which was published in November 2004 by National Geographic Books.

Veterans from World War I through the current conflict, and the civilians who supported them, are coming forward to record their personal stories and contribute personal documents for a growing archives at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The goal is to collect, preserve and share with future generations the stories of all American war veterans. To date, more than 25,000 individuals have submitted stories to the collection.

Authorized by legislation passed in 2000, the project is being carried out as Congress envisioned: with grandchildren interviewing grandparents, veterans interviewing each other, and students conducting interviews as part of classroom assignments.

 

Those interested in becoming involved in the Veterans History Project are encouraged to e-mail vohp@loc.gov to request a project kit. The kit is also available on the Veterans History Project Web site or call the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848.

A. Dorothy Walters Cutts and a child at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Washington, D.C., during the Korean War. Photograph submitted to Veterans History Project by Cutts, a World War II and Korean War veteran. Reproduction information: Not available for reproduction.

B. "Memorandum on Gas Poisoning in Warfare with Notes on Its Pathology and Treatment." Document submitted to Veterans History Project by Richard Bliss Leith, World War I veteran. Reproduction information: Not available for reproduction.


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