By Staff Sgt. Toshiko F. GreggAugust 15, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A joint Regional Support Command Yellow Ribbon event held by the 81st and 88th RSCs allowed those who attended an opportunity to record their stories through an organization called StoryCorps-Military Voice Initiative.
StoryCorps is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve their stories. Each conversation is recorded on a CD and preserved at the Library of Congress. The military voices initiative focuses on recording the diverse stories of post-9/11 veterans, active-duty service members, and their families.
"It's about providing all people the access to tell their story, the idea is everybody builds history," said Christina Kim, StoryCorps facilitator. "This is also an opportunity to have a sacred time to just talk."
Millions of men and women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan while family members continue to support and stand behind them at home. The military community understands all the challenges that come with multiple deployments, combat injuries and homecomings. StoryCorps gives the nation an opportunity to support and understand the sacrifices that each service members and their families have made.
Nancy St. Claire, chief operating officer for the Give an Hour organization took the opportunity to tell her story with her husband Tom Garcia. In 2008, St. Claire was hired as a civilian cultural advisor to the U.S. Army and deployed for seven months to Kirkuk, Iraq.
The StoryCorps opportunity gave St. Claire, a licensed professional counselor, the opportunity to be the interviewee instead of being the interviewer.
"There is such an important part of history that can be lost if people aren't sharing their stories and this is such an easy way to do it," said St. Claire.
A lot of service members and their families don't talk about what happen during their time apart. St. Claire said that she doesn't really talk about what happened down range it really depends on the environment that she's in.
"This is away to get that information out to people who may not otherwise hear those powerful stories."
Those who have participated in the StoryCorps experience discovered that it opened doors towards conversations that wouldn't routinely happen. Members of the military community are faced with several challenges during deployments. These experiences and thoughts have been recorded so that future generations can appreciate and learn more about the military community.
"I'm really happy that she (St. Claire) made this appointment, It was really fulfilling to have at least a small segment of our lives captured and archived," said Garcia.
StoryCorps broadcast can be heard weekly on National Public Radio. They do this broadcast to remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters.
For more information about StoryCorps visit: http://storycorps.org/