veterans-oral-history

Voices of Veterans: Capturing the oral history and spirit of Northeast Wisconsin veterans

UW-Green Bay students and veterans Ashley Wiles and Sean Gleason have important stories to share. In this case, they are not their own, but the personal, front-line accounts from veterans who served in the United States armed forces in times of conflict. These oral histories provide a personal narrative to future generations so that all can understand the sacrifices made and the realities of war throughout the generations.

The UWGB project originated in UWGB Professor Rebecca Meacham’s “Documenting Memory” class in consultation with University archivist Deb Anderson. While some students chose to work on the personal histories of elderly palliative care patients, for instance, Wiles and Gleason gravitated toward documenting the oral histories of veterans.

“They have been a part of history and their history is important,” said Gleason. “I want to encourage people to come out and share what they experienced, and I want them to know that it is for the benefit of everyone: historians, researchers, students, other family members, and other service members.”

Anderson’s help was crucial to the process, according to Gleason.

“Her knowledge and expertise really expanded the pool of knowledge that went into the Documenting Memory,” explained Gleason. “Deb also has impeccable networking skills and was able to help coordinate a large number of the interviews, and make contact with the narrators. She is responsible for the legal archival aspect that goes on behind the scenes, such as cataloging and storing the interviews, drafting and storing the release forms. She helped provide instruction on recording and transcribing interviews. She also coached and mentored students on how to best approach a variety of situations in the field.”

Gleason and Wiles hope to expand the physical and human resources to grow the project, and make it a more permanent part of UWGB culture, community and a resource that is widely accessible.

These are their voices…

Louis LeCalsey III – ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’

Louis LeCalsey

Duration: 3:36 | MP3

  • Force Recon Marine
  • Deployed: Cuban Missile Crisis, South America and Vietnam
  • Formerly Tufco’s President and CEO
  • First UWGB Men’s Soccer Coach
  • Currently the Chair of the UWGB Council of Trustees

Claude Bohn – ‘One Hell of a Party’

Claude Bohn

Duration: 3:17 | MP3

United States Marine Corps

  • Sworn in January 22, 1942
  • Marine Raider in Japan, China and Guadalcanal
  • Collected memorabilia and photos during deployment
  • Passed away July 11, 2015 — Rest in Peace, Semper Fidelis

Robert Skorczewski – ‘Coming Back’

Robert Skorczewski

Duration: 3:17 | MP3

United States Army

  • Enlisted in U.S. Army, Communications Security Repair Specialist in 1968
  • Military assignments include: White Sands Missile Range and Southern European Task Force, Italy
  • UWGB Veteran Services Counselor
  • Leader of UWGB Office of Outreach and Extension
    • Academic Staff Emeritus
    • Distance Learning; Lifelong Learning; Green Bay Correctional Institute Associate Degree Program; High School Extension

Jared Spude – ‘9-11 Story’

Jared Spude

Duration: 3:17 | MP3

Wisconsin Army National Guard

  • Received the Outstanding Student Award during his May 2015 Graduation ceremony from UWGB
  • Major in Political Science and Public Administration, graduated Suma Cum Laude
  • Combat veteran deployed to Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne Division as a joint forward observer
  • Instructor at Fort McCoy

Patricia Finder-Stone – ‘B-17 Infant Medical Rescue’

Patricia Finder-Stone

Duration: 3:17 | MP3

United States Air Force

  • Air Force Nurse during the Korean War
  • Served in Greenland
  • Psychiatric Nurse at Cook County Hospital
  • Member of League of Women Voters Board
  • Delegate to the White House Conference on Aging
  • UWGB Distinguished Alumni Award

Mark Brunette – ‘Turkey Deployment’

Mark Brunette

Duration: 3:17 | MP3

United States Air Force

  • UWGB Veterans Club President
  • Air Force Veteran, deployed to Turkey for the duration of Iran Hostage Crisis

Jack Christianson – ‘Flare Mission’

Jack Christianson

Duration: 2:06 | MP3

United States Navy

  • Attended Green Bay West High School
  • U.S. Naval pilot during the Korean War
  • Stationed in Guam and Hawaii
  • Flew 63 missions out of Okinawa

The people behind the Voices of Veteran’s Project seek to enhance the capabilities of students at UWGB to capture the stories of veterans within the community. The intent is to develop personnel and resources to permanently affix the the project as an endeavor of the student veterans of UWGB.