Recording the veterans' stories is the heart of the AHS Heroes & Huskies Project. The students sat down with their veteran partner to ask questions, take notes, and learn about their veteran's military experiences. We had a few technical issues but overcame them to get the interviews recorded. Many of the veterans brought mementos with them to add to their stories. Students will be editing these interview videos over the next week to get them ready for the veterans to preview.
What I learned about my veteran Kirt Smith is that he grew up in Aurora and was born there as well. In his youth he enjoyed playing sports. He served in the Air Force and the war he was in was 1st Gulf war. His job was a medic, he was 19 when he joined the Air Force, he enlisted. What motivated him to join was he wanted to educate himself and he also said he was not really mature for college.
Day 2 of Heroes & Huskies was at the Plainsman Museum. Director Tina Larson talked to the group about how to create a display to tell their story at the upcoming public showing of the AHS Heroes & Huskies Project (April 24). This slideshow includes pictures from today's activities.
By Riley Johnson
I learned a lot about Art. He was born and grew up in Huntley, Montana with his 4 brothers and 1 sister. They lived on an 80 acre farm and raised dairy cows that they had to milk all by hand. He was in the Navy and the Air Force during the Korean War. He enlisted in the Navy when he was 16 and joined when he was 17. He was in the Navy from November 10, 1947- December 1955 and the Air Force from May 1956 - February 1960.
A couple of veterans were not able to be with us for the meet and greet so three students were partnered with military veteran, Monte Yoder, to ask him some pre-service questions. The summaries of those three students are posted below.
By Brian Schulze
By listening to the veteran I learned that they military uses lots of oil and are looking for ways to produce more and use it more efficiently, the helicopters use hundreds of gallons per hour, and tanks use thousands per day. I also learned that being in the military is a huge commitment and the military offers lots of opportunities for lots people.
By Nick Olsufka
Today I met Monte Yoder. and learned some basic stuff about him. He grew up in Aurora and attended Aurora High School. He then went to UNK. He joined the army sometime in there, not sure when though. Then he transferred to Texas A&M to earn his masters. So plenty to learn yet but overall he is a nice person. Looking forward to this project.
By Trenton Kluck
Monte was born in Superior, NE and raised here in Aurora. He went to Aurora Public Schools and went to UNK, Texas A&M, and a couple other colleges. He served in the military and he was a petroleum engineer for the military. He would take the oil and other natural resources they obtained from the countries they were at war with and would turn it into useable fuel for their tanks and helicopters. He said a tank would burn over 1000 gallons of premium jet fuel in a day.
The veteran I will be working with this spring, Roger Kruse, is a very interesting man with a lot of fantastic stories and insight. He served in the U.S. Army from 1965-67 and served in the Vietnam War from 1966-67.
Today we spoke about his life before the military and I learned quite a bit. Roger was born and raised in Hamilton County with his four siblings, and his parents. He enjoyed being outdoors in his youth, with hobbies such as hunting and fishing. He went to work at the Aurora gas company straight out of high school, and continued to work there until they learned of the draft for Vietnam, and he was let go. After being let go, he was hired on at a fertilizer plant outside of Aurora.
Roger was drafted at age 21, and before the draft had never considered enlisting. His Military Operational Specialty (MOS) was Fire Distribution Controller, but in Vietnam he never actually worked his MOS.
In all I learned quite a bit from Roger, and am very excited to learn even more throughout the next few weeks.
Today the students met their veterans. It was so interesting to hear their introductions and catch a few interview answers about their pre-service experiences. Homework for the students is to write a summary of what they learned about their veteran partner. We will post these summaries on this website tomorrow. Tomorrow we will meet again at the museum to look at the military exhibit at the Plainsman Museum.