Oral Histories of Veterans Gathered by Wilkes Students Will Be Donated to the Library of Congress
Students, veterans and guests will gather at Wilkes University on Nov. 13 to participate in the 7th annual Heroes Brunch for Veterans. It will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the ballroom of the Henry Student Center, 84 W. South St., Wilkes-Barre. The attendees represent military who have served in conflicts from World War II to the Gulf War.
Hosted by 62 Wilkes University freshmen in First-Year Foundations classes, attendees are veterans who have been interviewed by the students about their war-time experiences as part of an oral history project. The recorded interviews will later be shared with the Library of Congress. In order to be submitted, students created 30-minute audio or video recordings.
Students participating in the oral history project are in four sections of the first-year foundations course taught by Marcia Balester, professor and coordinator of the First-Year Foundations program at the University.
The project reflects Wilkes’ commitment to community and civic engagement. Veterans were selected from local nursing homes, active living communities and rehabilitation centers. Centers include the Jewish Community Center, The Gardens at Wyoming Valley, Providence Place Retirement Community, Village At Greenbriar, North Penn Manor, Gino Merli Veterans Center, and the Active Adult Centers of Hazelton, Mountain Top, Plymouth, Nanticoke, Wilkes-Barre and Kingston.
Since the oral history project began in 2012, over 400 oral histories have been recorded by Wilkes students. For the third year in a row, Robert Dolbear, who served in World War II, will be the oldest veteran participant at age 103. Ruth Duda, a World War II veteran will be in attendance.
World War II veteran Sam Greenberg and Gerald Gurnari, retired staff seargant, will serve as speakers presenting the veterans’ perspective.
AMVETS Post 189 honor guard will post colors to open the event. University President Patrick F. Leahy will address the group. Rabbi Larry Kaplan of Temple Israel, Wilkes-Barre, will deliver the invocation. Wilkes University freshman Lilli Millon will deliver a speech addressing her experience with the oral history project and her time spent with World War II veteran, Herald Evans. Evans will be in attendance with grandson Raphael Zbysheski who is a Marine.