On May 18th, I had the privilege of taking part in the Pritzker Military Museum and Library‘s oral history project.
The project seeks to record oral histories of Illinois veterans who served in all branches of the military. After filling out a small application, and emailing back to the museum, I was contacted a couple of weeks later by Teri Embrey of the Museum/Library.
The museum is located at 104 S. Michigan Avenue, on the corner of Michigan Ave and Monroe St, directly across from the Art Institute of Chicago. Located on the 2nd floor, the library and museum are well stocked, with thousands of books and military memorabilia donated by veterans and their families. The staff at the front desk were very polite and accommodating.
The interview began promptly at 10am. The audio/visual technician, Angel, was very helpful and put me at ease. After performing a sound check, the interview began. The questions were prepared in advance, and as the Q&A session began to gain momentum, I began to relax. I could see that Teri had read my book, Last of the Glow Worms, and had her questions tailored to the knowledge that pertained to my experience, and to my MOS more specifically. She was very professional, and if she could not tell at the time, I was extremely nervous!
After the interview, I was presented with a Pritzker Museum challenge coin. I donated my book and some photo scans of the 64th Ordnance Company, along with certificates I received in the military.
This was my first experience with an interview, and after overcoming my initial fear of speaking about myself with strangers in an intimate setting (I am rather introverted), with Teri’s help I began to relax and open up.
I would suggest to all Illinois veterans to visit the Pritzker Military Museum and Library at least once. They are working very hard to keep our veteran stories alive, for future generations to study and research.