By Eric Gruver and Hayley Hasik
The East Texas War and Memory Project (ETWMP) is proud to announce a major financial contribution from retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Chris Adams. Adams, an alumnus of Texas A&M University-Commerce, recently donated $10,000 to the ETWMP to facilitate the collection and preservation of oral histories and artifacts of military veterans and their families.
“I cannot tell you how much I sincerely appreciate your commitment and endeavors in regard to this worthy project,” Adams said to the ETWMP interns. “I don’t require or need any recognition; I just want [the money] to go for the project and benefit [your] work.”
The funds will be used to purchase recording equipment and marketing materials and to compensate interns who travel to interview veterans and their family members. A student worker will also be hired.
Adams has worked with the ETWMP almost since its inception in Spring 2013. After the initial meeting with the interns, Adams said he enjoyed participating in what he believes to be a “very worthwhile and valuable contribution to our history.”
ETWMP interns captured and preserved Adams’ oral history in two lengthy interviews, and Adams served as the inaugural speaker of the War and Memory Lecture Series.
“To have our efforts acknowledged by General Adams is humbling and it inspires us to work harder to ensure that more veterans get to tell their stories,” said Hayley Hasik, coordinator of the ETWMP. “The fact that General Adams chose to support the East Texas War and Memory Project shows that we have started something essential to the preservation of history and that people are willing to help us make this project a permanent initiative at the university.”
Project intern Jackson Dailey explained that Adams’ contribution will support his passion for oral history and archival studies.
“I would not have been able to travel so far to hear the fantastic stories I’ve heard or bring those stories to campus and broaden the respect for veterans our nation has forgotten. Everyone has a story, and every man and woman who has put his or her life on the line for our country deserves to be heard,” Dailey said.
The ETWMP is dedicated to recording oral histories and collecting artifacts illustrating veterans’ experiences in World War II, Korea, the Cold War and Vietnam. For more information, contact [email protected] or go to facebook.com/WarAndMemory.