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'Arkansans Ask' to discuss Veterans History Project Sept. 14 on AETN

Posted 12 Sep 2017

"Arkansans Ask: Veterans History Project" will air on the Arkansas Educational Television Network Thursday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m.

The Library of Congress houses the Veterans History Project, which "collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans." This episode will offer information about this effort and provide guidance for Arkansans to participate in the project. The various aspects of the "AETN Salutes Arkansas Vietnam Veterans" initiative will also be discussed.

Viewers may submit questions and comments during the live broadcast at 800-662-2386, paffairs@aetn.org or on Twitter with #ARAsk.

Panelists include: retired Col. Anita Deason, military and veterans affairs liaison for U.S. Senator John Boozman; Olivia Olson, Library of Congress Veterans History Project volunteer; Dillon Vick, Library of Congress Veterans History Project volunteer; and Julie Thomas, AETN marketing and outreach director. Veteran journalist Steve Barnes will host.

Col. Anita Deason served 33 years in the Army National Guard before retiring in 2013. She became involved with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project in July 2015 after being informed that Sen. Boozman wanted more Arkansans to be made aware of the project and involved in preserving our veterans' experiences.

When Boozman introduced Col. Deason to the Veterans History Project, he shared the story of how his own father served as a waist gunner in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and later retired from the U.S. Air Force as a master sergeant. However, after his father died, Boozman wished he had asked his father more about his military service experiences.

"The senator's comments basically gut-kicked me," Deason said. "My father died shortly after my 19th birthday; he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II in the Philippines.

"I regret I never really talked to him much about his time in the military. And I failed to even thank him for his service."

Olivia Olson is a retired teacher and author of two children's books, "Eva's Gift" and "Window of Time." She is also a long-time member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Olson was previously involved with the Veterans History Project and became reengaged after attending a workshop conducted by Sen. Boozman's office.

To date, Olson has submitted 55 interviews: 39 that are featured on the Veterans History Project website and 16 that are still being processed.

Dillon Vick is a graduate of North Little Rock High School. He served in the U.S. Navy for 5 1/2 years as a hospital corpsman third class. Vick is now a junior at the University of Central Arkansas. He became involved with the Veterans History Project while interning for Sen. Boozman's office during the summer of 2017.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network is Arkansas's only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through the distinct channels AETN PBS, AETN Create, AETN PBS KIDS, AETN World and AETN AIRS on SAP. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at aetn.org. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).