ATTENTION ALL VETERANS
AMERICAN LEGION POSTS
VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA CHAPTERS
THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION
VETERAN MEMORIAL COMMITTEES
AND OTHER VETERAN-RELATED ORGANIZATIONS
You're invited to participate in the
VETERAN VOICES INITIATIVE
VETERANS DAY 2011
I am a veteran, so I am aware of the sacrifice, commitment, and courage it takes to serve in any branch of the military. Veterans Day is when our nation officially honors such service. However, I believe that too many Americans—especially our young generation and those who have never served—take this day for granted.
Part of the reason is that ordinary veterans rarely get the chance to tell their story. Hollywood directors and media personalities are good at telling the “big” stories” of larger-than-life war heroes and action combat adventures. But we know that most soldiers, sailors, and marines serve their time as quiet heroes, diligently maintaining supply lines, fixing vehicles, standing guard duty, serving chow, and drilling for the day they just might be called into action.
These particular experiences are truly the foundation of military service, and if we listen carefully enough to veterans’ life stories we will discover countless acts of common, everyday heroism and bravery under ordinary circumstances. We will also learn how military service helped turn kids into adults, forged life-long friendships, launched careers, and instilled values such as honesty, integrity, and patriotism. All veterans have such stories worth sharing—ones that would interest current and future generations of citizens, historians, educators, school children, and family members. A grateful nation would recognize this, as I am sure you do.
The Social Voice Project® recognizes this too, and we are listening and recording these stories as part of our Veteran Voices Initiative®. For several months we have been busy creating recording projects, broadcasting audio, and archiving veteran stories. We are currently releasing a series of stories from Pittsburgh area WW II and Korean War veterans.
A NEW WAY TO THANK OUR VETERANS
A story not told is a story not heard. And once someone passes on—as many of our World War II veterans are at the rate of a thousand a day—they will take with them a lifetime of experience, knowledge, memory, and wisdom. If we haven’t preserved these things by recording them, we sadly lose an eyewitness to history . . . and we are all poorer for it. However, it’s not too late to take action.
In recognition of Veterans Day, The Social Voice Project wants to work with you to develop a life story recording project so that we can thank and honor our veterans by capturing, sharing, preserving, and celebrating their life stories. Veterans Day falls on 11 November 2011, so we strongly encourage you to consider this offer now.
The whole process is easier than you might think, and quite fun too. If you can help gather interest and enlist veterans to tell their stories, we can make this happen. We can record on-site at your location with our field recording equipment; we typically like to schedule recording sessions in one-hour blocks over the course of several days. As always, we are flexible and willing to accommodate different situations.At the end of the project, your organization will have a professional-grade, fully digital set of audio recordings suitable for archiving, slide shows, radio broadcasting, or Internet podcasting. With these recordings you can even create your own CD for the purpose of fundraising.
We do not charge for what we do. The Social Voice Project is funded by the kind donations of our participants, partners, and sponsors.
If you have any questions or you would like more information about creating your own veteran voices project in recognition of Veterans Day 2011, please do not hesitate to contact me.
ABOUT THE SOCIAL VOICE PROJECT
The Social Voice Project® is an emerging local nonprofit education organization. Our mission is to use audiography (sound recording) to capture, preserve, share, and celebrate expressions of the social condition—we call these social voices. We are not an entertainment business or music recording company. Instead, we work with and assist other nonprofits and civic-oriented organizations and individuals to produce life story and oral history projects.
TSVP specializes in creating audio recordings for social, cultural, historical, and educational purposes as a public benefit and social good. We encourage citizens to speak about themselves, their occupations, life experiences, and their communities so that we all may learn and benefit from these acts of bearing witness. We believe that everyone has a story worth telling . . . and hearing. That’s why we want to celebrate the extraordinary life stories of ordinary people.
Currently, we have several specific recording initiatives aimed at capturing the voices of veterans, public safety/first responders, senior citizens, families, and grassroots activists. Please be sure to check out our website, where you can learn more about us and listen to audio samples. There you can access our growing archive of social voices (all registered with the Creative Commons license). We are associated with The Internet Archive, a nonprofit library and world leader in digitizing information.THE ART OF AUDIO
We are often asked why we specialize in audio. Audiography is its own genre, and it is the medium of choice for many oral historians and cultural preservationists. An audio life story cannot be dismissed as simply sound without pictures. Instead, audio creates a special intimacy between the speaker and the audience—one that envelops the listening experience within the vivid and powerful theater of the imagination. We also think that the human voice (vox humana) is one of the most distinct and wonderful features of being human. And we agree that language is a powerful thing; the sound of language is deeply alluring. To hear one’s voice is to hear the living spirit. It reveals who we are in ways that visuals cannot. The human voice impresses itself upon us with such diverse shades of meaning, emotion, and identity that it is like no other human feature. That’s why we specialize in audio.
About the Director: Kevin Farkas is a native of Beaver County, Pennsylvania. He is an independent audiographer and creative media developer. Before founding TSVP, he spent several years as a university educator specializing in the sociology of language, literacy education, and cultural studies. Kevin is also a veteran of the US Navy; he was an aviation electronics technician and served two tours of duty (one Expeditionary) aboard the USS Saratoga.
 Pending approval in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.