March to the Memorials 2014

March to the Memorials 14 from Chuck Taft on Vimeo.

Thanks to everyone who opened a beautiful Memorial Day weekend by participating in the March to the Memorials on Friday and helping physically and financially over the past two weeks. We were able to accomplish our dual goals of marching 4000 times around the USM circle and raising funds and awareness for three great causes – Stars & Stripes Honor Flights, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Education Center, and Veterans Trek /Almost Sunrise. Our Lower School friends gave us a great start with their efforts in the afternoon, and the fun continued after school until we met our goal around 7 PM. With all of our fundraising efforts (and some great outside help from some hard working 8th grade boys) we raised over $3,700!  A video compilation of the project is available here, there are also many pictures available on the middle school Flickr account (thanks to Dolores Kendall and Carolyn Ferraioli for bing awesome shutterbugs!

As part of the service learning project, students interviewed men and women of the Armed Forces to try to find out to their stories and understand the price involved in serving the United States.  The collection of their oral histories can be found here. If you get a chance, please spend some time and listen to some of these great soldiers’ stories.

Again, thank you to everyone for making a great event and for helping to support our veterans. We are looking forward to an even greater March next May!

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

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A Soldier’s Story – Oral Histories 2013-2014

Slide1As part of our service learning project in 2013-2014, students conducted oral history interviews of men and women who served in the American military over the past 70 years.  Students researched the era of service, developed interview questions, conducted interviews, and digitally archived the results.  Their interviews are available below  - what a great collection of history!

  • Ronald Thielmann – US Air Force Mechanic, February 1954 – March 1956 – interviewed by Ben & Ellie Huffman (interviewee – Myrna Thielmann, wife)
  • Brad Caylor - Six years in the Marines – Interviewed by Tyler Bair and Joe Hershey
  • Robin Hayes – United States Air Force – Interviewed by John Price and Ben Hayes
  • Mitchell Noel - Age 18-23 in U.S. Army, Iraq- Interviewed by Michael Minus and Alex Strunets.
  • Jeff Norman – US Army 1969-1989 – interviewed by Nathan Rankin
  • Timothy Dugan – Lieutenant Colonel, Tanks 1991-2012, Iraq, Gulf War- Interviewed by Sathwik Pattem and Daniel Zaydman
  • Bruce Brown – Navy August 1952 to August 1956 – Interviewed by Mikaeel Kassam
  • Lowell Novy – United States Air force, Cold War – 3 years of service – interviewed by Mary Holmes
  • Jeff Whyte – US Air Force 27 years – interviewed by Natalia Tovar & Eli Modahl
  • Nancy Jaeger- German/Russian Interrogator during the Second Cold War by Hailey Stephany, Gaby Musickant and Gianna Affi
  • Lee Kendall – US Air Force Intelligence – 8 years of service – interviewed by Sam Kendall, Yousaf Malik, and Zak Billing.
  • Dean Miller- US Air Force – Interviewed by Cassie Wallskog and Riley Strauss
  • Robert Lee- US Army- Interviewed by Naa Ayeley
  • Earl Lloyd- US Army – Interviewed by Nabeel Quryshi
  • Ross Worthington- US Air Force Technician, 1983-1987, Interviewed by Sam Browning, Bennett Smith-Worthington, and Nick Mayerson
  • Kevin Hermening-Hostage in the Iranian Hostage Crisis-Interview by Marla Hiller, Mia Cudahy, and Leah Schneck
  • Robert Gray Mitchem- Intercepted Russian Communication in the Vietnam War- Interviewed by Talulah Mitchem
  • Lauro Rodriguez- Marine Court- Interviewed by Daysi Garcia
  • Michael Wigdale- U.S. Air force Three Star Lieutenant General
  • Pete Borucki- Vallon Operator and Grenadier in Afghanistan War.  Earned a purple heart.- Interviewed by Brandon Staudt
  • Berrol Beckley: US Marine – 6 years of service – Interviewed by Taylor Owens & Hannah Hakami
  • Allen Cottrell – US Army Engineer Corps- Vietnam 1967 – Interviewed by Benjamin Rondini
  • Tim McDonald- Retired Air Force Veteran- Interview by Nat Levandoski and Hira Malik
  • Robin Hayes – U.S. Air Force – Interview by John Price and Ben Hayes
  • Robert Ramstel- WWII Veteran – Interview by Thomas Wilkinson
  • Robert Manly- Korean War Veteran- Interview by Cameron Strawn
  • Martin Taft - Army National Guard, 1967 – interviewed by Chuck Taft
  • Enrico Siewert – US Marines, 1988-1996 – interviewed by Ishan Rodman & Graham Kingwill
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Enter your March to the Memorials laps here!

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Share your Soldier Stories links

Click here and follow the example!

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March to the Memorials Commercial!

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Publishing your Soldier’s Story

Once your oral history interview is live and accessible online, please create a QR code for it and insert it this Soldier Story QR Template for your Soldier’s Story oral history. When you are done with your template, double check it, save it with your name as part of the file name, and share it with me on my ga account –

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Slide1Come join the 8th grade Class of 2018 for the 3rd annual March to the Memorials in order to raise funds for Stars and Stripes Honor Flights, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Education Center, and DryHootch in Milwaukee. Our goal is to march around the USM circle 4,000 times, a near equivalent to the distance from Milwaukee to Washington D.C.  Bring the whole family, a picnic dinner, and your walking shoes!  Come for a little bit, or stay for the entire event.  We will have some lawn games, music, face paint and more.  It will be a fun-filled community event and a great way to open up Memorial Day Weekend!  Donations will be accepted at school all week as well.

Check out last year’s march for a teaser!

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Developing Oral History Questions

Now that we have some background info for context, our next step in “A Soldier’s Story” is to develop some great questions for our interview subjects.  Use the great guide that Ms. Walczak developed to craft a decent number of questions for your soldier / friend of soldier.  Remember, we are trying to get the story of the people involved, to look at their perspectives as opposed to finding out the basic facts (that’s why we have Google).  I have a sample set that I used with my Dad – not perfect but maybe a good guideline?

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A Soldier’s Story – Interview Subjects

Young historians – as we progress on our “A Soldier’s Story” oral histories, please complete the following form for your interviews subjects.  If you are in a group, only on person needs to fill in the form.  Thanks!

Our next step is to do some background research and develop questions for the interviews.  Stay tuned for some info about these two steps.

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Veterans Day Assembly 2013

USM MS Veterans Day Assembly – 11/11/13 from Chuck Taft on Vimeo.

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