North Dakota man wants to record stories of U.S. war veterans


MINOT, N.D. (AP) — A Minot man wants to preserve the stories of U.S. war veterans.

Kyle Erickson hopes to record veterans talking about their experiences and upload their interviews to a YouTube channel featuring North Dakota war heroes. Erickson wants to record veterans of all wars, but he was inspired by the experiences of Vietnam vets to start the project, the Minot Daily News reported.

Some Vietnam vets never talked about their war experiences because of the anti-war movement and the negative reaction they got from their fellow Americans, Erickson said.

“So many of them didn’t get a chance to tell their story because they were never welcomed home,” Erickson said.
Erickson is not a military veteran, but has a profound respect for all who served.

“They’re all heroes,” he said.

Erickson also wants to hear the stories of veterans of more recent conflicts such as the Gulf War and Desert Storm as well as World War II and the Korean War.

A similar project sponsored by the Billings Gazette in Montana features recorded interviews of veterans and also is available on YouTube, Erickson said.

Veterans can contact Erickson to schedule a time for an interview to be conducted in a reserved room at the Minot Public Library. He expects each interview will take about 45 minutes to an hour. Vets also can bring old photos that can be included in the recorded interview, Erickson said. If veterans want to travel from elsewhere to be interviewed, Erickson said he might be able to arrange for private lodging with volunteers.

War vets will be able to talk about any experience they want to share.

“We want you to be yourself,” Erickson said. ”(We’re) not going to do any bleeping.”