Margaret Downing Photo The Journal
Vietnam2Now and other Vietnam veterans are pictured in the Harlem High School auditorium prior to the 2019 Gala event. Shown from left are: Loren Salzman, Don Allen, Ken Seay, John Tuttle, and Barney Spencer.

Preserving veteran experiences and stories celebrated at Harlem HS
By Margaret Downing
Turn-out was good May 11 at the Harlem High School’s Veteran Project Gala 2019 event. As explained by teacher Nicholas Stange, “Twenty four students have worked diligently to preserve the unique stories of our local veterans and wartime civilians through interviews and documentary productions.”
A reception was held during intermission of a showing of parts of interviews where veterans from the Second World War, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, and later all talked of experiences during their time in the service.
Stange continued, “This is a culmination of up to two years of work by the students involved with the project to highlight the remarkable stories of our local veterans, as well as those who lived and sacrificed during the war. Because each story has had such a profound effect on each student, as well as on our community as a whole, we wish to highlight the stories through mini-documentaries grouped by the students.
“The documentaries have been produced from over 50 hours of raw interview footage. Thousands of artifacts have been scanned, archived, and preserve. Combined students have spent over 2,000 hours producing this year’s 24 documentaries. The reception held was to show appreciation for the efforts of the students and for their dedication, as well as to formally thank the veterans and their families for their service to our nation.”
Presentation of the documentaries was held where veterans, if able, came to the front of the auditorium when their names were called to receive copies of their individual documentaries.
As noted in the program handout, “Students are dedicated to preserving the stories of those who lived through these critical periods of United States history. By interviewing soldiers and civilians from these war generations, they are given the unique opportunity to learn each individual experience from the primary source. The Harlem Veteran Project continues to move forward, embarking on a greater diversity of stories and generations by beginning to include veterans of all eras.”
Some memories carried by veterans will be with them to the end, many still bring tears to the eyes.
Teacher Kyra Newnam explained that each student worked with their own individual veteran, as listed below. The first name is of the student, the second name is of the vet.
Brock King, veteran Robert Babcock; Reagan Cejka, Howard Ballard; Tyler Fleener, Fred Carter; Hannah Mabel, Ruth Ferguson; Maxwell Fox, Steven Hall; Nicholas Ngo, Leroy Lewandowski; Fati Misha, Charles Lind; Jordan Alms, Frederick Mangelsdorf; Miranda Dooley, Richard Martin and also Edward Pavelek; Jayde Dye, Bruce Mac Donald; Blake Gribble, John McCastland; Joshua Preville, Ed Morris; Jayde Dye, Bruce MacDonald; Blake Gribble, John McCastland; Joshua Preville, Ed Morris; Tiana Jackson, James Presley; Samuel Procopio, Joseph Procopio; Emily Dretsinger, Jack Ross; Mia Arreguin, Brian Scholberg; Renee Voegeli, Don Snyder; Frank Russel, Barney Spencer; Jada Cooper, Delbert Tedrick; Austin Lewis, Walter Watson; Alissa Kurowski, Michael Wells; and Cheyenne Speer, Marvin Wray.

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