Hurd on the Hill: Preserving our veterans’ stories

February 25, 2019
Hurd on the Hill: Local Columns
Honoring our nation’s heroes through the Library of Congress Veterans History Project

From the shores of Tripoli, to the beaches of Normandy, to the mountains of Afghanistan, the brave men and women of our Armed Forces have made countless sacrifices to ensure our freedom. Our Constitution, our democracy, all that we honor and hold sacred has been made possible through their tireless service.

The stories of their service are written with friendship, hardship, fear, bravery, failure and triumph. Most are not showered in glory or immortalized in movies, but the experiences of our veterans compose the story of America. Some of their stories risk being lost to time. I wanted to do something about it.

Over the past year my team has crisscrossed the 29 counties I represent in South and West Texas to hear from our nation’s heroes, who were willing to share personal accounts of their experiences in the armed forces as part of the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project. This project’s mission is to preserve veterans’ stories of their service for generations to come.

Over the duration of this effort, 23 veterans shared their stories about their time in uniform and service to our great nation. From fighting the Axis powers to ISIS, they paved the way for today’s servicemembers, some of which I was proud to work with during my time in the CIA. Each of their stories will now be preserved in the world’s greatest centralized collection of human knowledge, the Library of Congress, so that future generations can hear directly from the brave men and women from the 23rd District of Texas who did their part to keep our nation safe.

Those who have answered the call to serve our country can be found all across TX-23. From Fort Bliss at the western edge, to Joint Base San Antonio and Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, it is a continuous source of pride to represent over 4,600 active-duty military and 45,000 military veterans across my district’s 29 counties and two time zones.

History is only one generation away from being forgotten. That’s why it is our job to preserve the stories of the brave service members in all corners of the globe, many in harm’s way, protecting the United States and our allies from threats to our way of life. Their quiet sacrifices and extraordinary acts of service will not be lost to time.

These stories will be available to the public on the Library of Congress’s website in the coming months. My office will also continue to collect the stories of our TX-23 veterans and gold-star families. If you are a TX-23 veteran, or a gold-star family member, who would like to share the story of your fallen loved one for this project, please contact my office at 210-921-3130 or online at hurd.house.gov.