Through Our Soldiers' Eyes
Military Memories from the Mission Valley
About the Book
Through Our Soldiers' Eyes is the third volume of veterans oral histories gathered and written by students from Ronan High School, a rural public school on the Flathead Indian Reservation in northwestern Montana.
The collection tells the stories of 30 men and women who served in the military. Their experiences span from the Second World War to the War in Iraq. They share views on the routines of military life, their experiences with other cultures in different parts of the world, and the U.S. military's role in the world. The stories come from every service branch and give unique and detailed glimpses into a soldiers' life in war and peacetime over the last six decades.
Paula Anderson offers her experience as a woman in the army during the War in Iraq. Charles Bick tells of the European front during World War II. William Birthmark and Silas Perez speak about how their Native American heritage influenced their feelings about service. James Raymond recounts his experiences leading men during Desert Storm. Clifford Wordon recounts his time as a prisoner of war in Korean, and Else Payne, a German immigrant to the United States, remembers being a child during Hitler's reign. Among all these stories are many others who share their thoughts and experiences in every major U.S. military engagement of the last half of the century and additional service men and women who participated in humanitarian and training missions during their peace time service.
Each individual soldier has their own chapter, written as a first-person narrative by a student (or pair of students). The students conducted interviews and worked with their serviceperson to craft the story. The oral history project was completed in Christa Umphrey's 11th grade English class in cooperation with the Montana Heritage Project.