When Poudre High School junior Madison first began interviewing a Vietnam War veteran in her school’s media center, he was reluctant to open up.
So, they talked about other things, until he felt more comfortable sharing his story.
“After a while, he knew I was someone to trust,” Madison said.
The interview was part of a project for Poudre students who are studying “The Things They Carried,” a collection of stories about an American army platoon’s experiences during the Vietnam War. During their study of the book, students interviewed local veterans about their experiences serving their country. Students then worked to produce creative projects such as podcasts and photo books to reflect what they learned in the interviews.
“We wanted to generate closer ties to the community,” teacher Stephanie Mosnik said. “Our students are very supportive of vets, and we thought ‘what could we actually include (in this unit) that could do something to share veteran experiences?”
And so, the Veterans' Voices project was born. Students talked to the veterans about their experiences serving overseas, the careers they explored after their service, and much more. The project helped students connect with veterans, practice professional interviewing skills and combine what they’ve been learning in class.
“I think for a lot of people, especially me, it’s been an eye-opening experience,” Bryce, a Poudre junior, said. “You never think about what vets have gone through and experienced.”