Joe Todd | Oklahoma Veterans Oral History
On episode 29 of Veteran Voices: The Oral History Podcast, we have a conversation with veterans oral historian Joe Todd. Recorded July 16, 2016. Host: Kevin Farkas. Audiography: Kevin Farkas.
Joe Todd of Bartlesville, Oklahoma has been carefully recording and preserving the stories of veterans for more than sixteen years, first for the Oklahoma Historical Society and now for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas.
Joe is working as quickly as he can to capture the stories of WWII veterans—more than 1,300 so far—but his sights are slowly training on Korean and Vietnam War-era veterans.
“The veterans I’ve talked with are just so humble about their service,” Joe says, admitting that it’s sometimes an obstacle to getting their stories. “A lot of people will say they didn’t do anything. They say their story isn’t important. What’s to tell?”
But Joe trusts his experience and usually convinces veterans to share their stories. “I remind them, when they die, their story dies with them unles they share it.” When veterans think about that, they usually open up and talk . . . and Joe records.
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