And review our Newsletter: "Call to Duty" and become a Member of the Museum, see the Background page
(Do hit the Reload icon on your browser to make sure you have the latest updates)
The museum hours are:
Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (1000 to 1500)
Admission is free (donations are accepted)
Group tours can be arranged upon request.
Give us a visit, a friendly docent (like Don) will greet you
Eighty-three year old Wilbern “Bud” Oliver shifted in his chair and gazed through us as he recounted memories of his World War II service in Okinawa at age 17. He spoke of common annoyances such as trying to break blocks of K-ration cheese and not being able to shave. “I don’t think we ever changed our clothes—we just went into the ocean.” He then shared details about one of their worst days. While sheltered behind a collapsed silo, they watched a typhoon snap a concrete ship in two and wash ashore an entire destroyer. Finally, he told about his discharge: the enormous lines of servicemen crowding the San Pedro food lines; surprising his parents upon his return and going to a party that evening where he met Shirley, the girl he married and with whom he eventually raised five children.
It was one of those times you wished you had on DVD. Better yet, it was on DVD. One copy went home with Bud and the other was forwarded to the Library of Congress. Joanne Cargill, a Senior Interviewer, has been conducting these interviews since 2003, and Bud was her 87th interviewee. “They feel a little better after they’ve talked about it. Not only did we get their story and get it to the National Archives, but it helps them. It’s cathartic,” says Cargill. Every veteran has a story. But many of them have never fully shared it with anyone—not even their family.
Started by the United States Congress in 2000, The Library of Congress' Veterans Oral History Project collects and preserves first-hand accounts and stories of wartime service, from veterans nationwide. War industry workers, United Service Organizations (USO) workers, flight instructors, medical volunteers and others actively involved with war efforts are also invited to share their stories. To read some of these stories, visit www.loc.gov/vets/.
Although all veteran histories are welcomed, priority is given to WWII veterans and those involved with the WWII war effort. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that U.S. veterans of World War II are dying at a rate of more than 1,000 per day. This project ensures that valuable pieces of our nation’s history and family histories aren’t lost. Questions explored include:
What did you do before your time in the service
What were some of your experiences while in the service
What did you do after leaving the service
How do you think your time in the service affected your life
If you know a family member, neighbor or friend who is a veteran, urge them to call the museum now to participate in the Veterans History Project. Because many veterans are living alone or are somewhat isolated due to disabilities, your encouragement could be just the incentive it takes for them to share their story. A visit to the museum might also enhance their emotional well being and provide them with a social network.
If you would like to arrange for an interview please call the museum at (805) 543-1763 We need your story.
Each participant receives his/her copy of the recorded video. There are currently a number of video interviews available for viewing at the museum by prior special arrangement, please call the museum for information.
Our thanks to Colette Joyce (who is a freelance writer living in San Luis Obispo) for her description of the write up on the Veterans History Project
The Veterans Museum Board of Directors would like to thank of Paso Robles, CA for hosting this web site at no charge, their support is appreciated. Click on their logo for more information on the many TCSN services available.