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Stories of Service mobilizes youth volunteers across America to help those who served our nation star in their own “mini-movies.” These short videos educate and inspire future generations about courage, sacrifice and service to community.

Using computers and digital editing software, youth participants combine photos, music, sound effects and the veteran’s own voice to create powerfully moving “Digital Stories” that are being shared with schools, libraries and museums and with a worldwide audience on the Internet.  More than just oral histories, many of these multimedia videos have the “look and feel” of Ken Burns’ series THE WAR and professional documentaries.

Producing these projects has a deep impact on both youth producers and their "Storytellers."  Youth help capture the stories of young Americans who were not much older than themselves when asked to do extraordinary things for their country.  In doing so, youth participants develop a much deeper understanding about the true meaning of service to community . The veterans and other seniors have the opportunity to tell their story, in their own words, and in a way that makes it easily accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world.

For 2008-2009, Stories of Service is focusing its efforts on a major initiative to capture the stories of the World War II generation.  By working with national partners such as National History Day, HISTORY (formerly the History Channel) the Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Institute and others, we are reaching out to youth across America and encouraging them to capture the stories of these "unsung heroes" in their communities.

Youth participants have the opportunity to share their videos in our Online Theater, receive recognition from Stories of Service and its partners, and to join us in Washington D.C. (Memorial Day) and New York City (Veterans Day) for national Stories of Service events.

To learn how you can participate, click here!

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Stories of Service started in California’s Silicon Valley in 1998 by the Digital Clubhouse Network, a nonprofit created by NASA, that was one of the founding partners of the Veterans Oral History Project of the Library of Congress, and which has received three medals from the Smithsonian for its “visionary use of information technology to improve society.” AMVETS California Service Foundation has provided funding to develop teaching resources and a website that will be introduced to more than . Academy Award winning actor Ernest Borgnine has volunteered to be Stories of Service National spokesman, urging his fellow WWII vets to come forward and share their stories.

While the emphasis has been on preserving the legacy of World War II veterans who are now passing away at an estimated rate of one every 90 seconds, Stories of Service also encourages youth to preserve the stories of vets from the Korea and Vietnam eras. In 2005, a special version of the program was created to assist Gold Star families produce videos to honor the memory of loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 



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