PHOENIX, AZ (August 1, 2023.) – As a new school year begins, local non-profit Veterans Heritage Project (VHP) celebrates the 20th year of Connecting Students with Veterans.TM
This award-winning after-school program develops students’ leadership, confidence, character, and 21st century skills, while honoring the service of veterans and preserving their legacies. Middle school, high school, and college students interview veterans from World War II to modern-day conflicts. These stories are documented through video and written essays, which are preserved both in the student-led publication Since You AskedTM and the Library of Congress. The book includes war and peacetime service stories from veterans of all eras or service branches, in addition to a selected theme for the year. The theme for the 20th Anniversary is Since You Asked XX: A Salute to Gold Star Families. A Gold Star Family is defined by legislation as a "parent, spouse, sibling or child of members of the Armed Forces who died as a result of their service during a period of war."
VHP issued a challenge to school partners to help celebrate the anniversary by reaching a milestone of preserving 3,000 veteran legacies. This requires students to interview and write the stories of 317 veterans or Gold Star Families this fall, in preparation for spring publication.
“Gold Star Families who prefer to write their loved one’s story rather than be interviewed, can do so through our online guide at veteransheritage.pathwright.com,” said Michelle DiMuro, executive director. “We know the process is very personal, and an interview setting, however respectful and thoughtful, may not be everyone’s choice.”
Margy Bons, Gold Star Mother to son, Sgt. Michael A. Marzano, wrote his story for the third volume of Since You Asked. Years later, in a letter to Veterans Heritage Project’s Founder, Barbara Hatch, she shared,