J. Marc Burgess, National Adjutant
Share your story
It seems like the calendar is becoming more and more packed with celebrations and observances, with a day dedicated to just about everything. Some things, of course, are a bit more lighthearted—National Doughnut Day or International Necktie Day, for instance. Others are more significant and somber, such as Memorial Day or POW/MIA Recognition Day, and carry much more meaning within the veteran community.
One that recently caught my attention was World Storytelling Day, observed on March 20. It celebrates the art of oral storytelling. At first blush, it may not seem to have much significance among veterans. But if you’re like me, you know a veteran or two whose stories have greatly impacted your life, helping to define the way you view the world and possibly even the way you cope with an illness or injury.
Sharing your experiences, struggles and triumphs can help others facing adversity to achieve their own victories, too. You may not even realize how powerful and inspirational a tool your story can be. It can also be very therapeutic, if and when you’re able, to put a voice to your internal thoughts, even if it takes many years to do so.
Over the years, DAV has partnered with the Library of Congress to support the Veterans History Project (VHP), encouraging our members to record their oral histories and submit them to the library’s collection. The VHP comprises more than 68,000 veterans’ collections, but there are more than 18 million veterans in the U.S.
The VHP is in need of more stories from women veterans in particular, as they remain underrepresented in the collection. You can learn how to share your story, or become an interviewer yourself, by visiting loc.gov/vets.
We at DAV are also very interested in hearing your stories. One of the most effective ways for us to advocate on Capitol Hill for veterans is by sharing the accounts of real-life individuals who are impacted by policies or whose lives could be changed by the passage of new laws.
There is no one better to tell your story than you, so this World Storytelling Day, feel free to visit mystory.dav.org and share your experience with us. You never know just how far that story may go to help a fellow veteran.
If you want to find out more about the National Adjutant, you can find his biography here.