APRIL 7, 2011

VHP’s 7th annual veterans book signing and reception

Arizona veterans' stories preserved by local students

vhpGLENDALE – The students of the Veterans Heritage Project (VHP) in association with the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project, will honor veterans whose stories have been chronicled by local high school and middle school students in Since You Asked: Volume VII as well as all preceding volumes.  This newest edition in the collection is being unveiled Sunday, April 17, in a veteran book signing and reception from 3 - 6 p.m. at the main “UCB” Conference Center at ASU West Campus, located at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road, GlendaleThe reception is open to the public and is free of charge.

vhpVHP students at Cactus Shadows High School (CSHS) in Cave Creek, Show Low High School, Canyon Valley School in Gilbert, and Shea Middle School in Paradise Valley, have completed seventy-one extensive interviews and essays documenting the stories of local Arizona Veterans from World War II through Afghanistan.

“The benefits of the Veterans Heritage Project are exponential.  Our students become personally connected to important U.S. history through inter-generational relationships that create an impact that a class lecture or textbook could never do.  In addition, the students take that Veteran's story and write, edit and publish – essential skills necessary for the 21st Century.  This is lasting learning from first hand REAL experience and our students are fortunate to have the opportunity,” said Dr. Debbi Burdick, Cave Creek Unified School District’s Superintendent.  

This year’s guest speaker at the reception is Colonel Joey Strickland, U.S. Army (ret.) and current Director, Arizona Department of Veterans Services.  Col. Strickland, a Choctaw-Cherokee, served more than 28 years as a combat arms officer for the Airborne Infantry and Armor assignments and served two combat tours in Vietnam.

Barbara Hatch, Executive Director of Veterans Heritage Project, CSHS’s Club Advisor and AP World History Teacher, will share some of the accomplishments of the non-profit organization, which plans to expand to more schools in Arizona who are willing and up for the challenge.   Hatch will introduce VHP’s new pilot schools and their advisors, and award scholarships for top students who have demonstrated leadership in the project and the community. 

Since the project began in 2004, nearly 200 students have met with and captured the stories of 490 veterans: 2 WWI; 197 WWII; 55 Korea; 129 Vietnam; 84 Cold War; and 84 Gulf/Afghanistan Vets. (Note: some veterans have served in more than one conflict).

For more information on VHP’s reception and book signing or if you are interested in supporting this exceptional, growing program through financial support, or time and talent, please contact Laura Byers at 602-421-9419, at Laura@veteransheritage.org, or go to VHP’s website:  www.veteransheritage.org.  Donations to the 501(c)(3) can be made payable to Veterans Heritage Project and sent to VHP, POB 1297, Carefree, AZ 85377-1297.