By J.D. LeipoldNovember 9, 2007
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 9, 2007) - Veterans have the opportunity to record details of their service for their descendents and future generations of the American public on the Registry of the American Soldier, managed by the Army Historical Foundation of Arlington, Va.
Every registry entry will include a Soldier's name, rank, hometown and service history. Registrants may also share their stories through anecdotes, memories and photographs.
The registry will be an essential historical link between those who have served and the American public, according to a foundation official who encourages Army veterans to share their stories and memories. He believes their memories and personal experiences will bring Army history to life and make it memorable for future generations.
Retired Col. Dave Fabian, who serves as director of communications for the foundation, said the registry is something the organization wanted to make as a feature piece to the National Museum of the United States Army which will be constructed at Fort Belvoir, Va.
Plans call for registry kiosks to be built in the museum where visitors and Soldiers can sign up their relatives or themselves, respectively. Meanwhile, those eligible may enroll through the historical foundation's Web site. Spouses, parents, children and friends may also enroll Army veterans, including those who are deceased. Those who are unable to visit the future museum may still enroll via the Internet.
"We have Army veterans signing up from 10 major wars and 178 campaigns throughout 232 years of the Army," Mr. Fabian said. "We have individuals represented by their relatives that go back to the colonial militias and to date, more than 52,358 currently serving Soldiers and veterans have enrolled to record their service histories in their own words."
Enrollees may also include a photo, though a $10 processing fee is required. Mr. Fabian said the foundation will add audio and locater services to the registry in the future. Visitors will be able to plug in a Soldier's name, come up with their history and hear the voice of that Soldier, he said.
Of the 52,000-plus who have signed up since the registry began in 2005, 35 percent are World War II era vets, 20 percent fought in Korea, 25 percent represent Vietnam- service Soldiers, 15 percent are currently serving and the remaining 5 percent go back as far as 1775.