A Gahanna resident wants to help tell the stories of local veterans.
The city is teaming with Gahanna writer Jef Benedetti to tell the stories of city employees who are veterans.
The resulting video interviews and veteran information will become part of the Veterans History Project, run under the auspices of the U.S. Library of Congress.
In 2016, Benedetti, a former city employee, published a biography, "The Hundred Year Road Trip," in which he told the story of his mother, Solange D'Hooghe. She was a gold and silver miner, a Women Airforce Service Pilot during World War II and was involved for 50 years in the startup and evolution of the commercial airline industry in Las Vegas.
"I recently began volunteering at the (Veterans Administration) facility in Columbus, and found out about the Veteran History Project," Benedetti said. "I had just completed Mom's biography and was looking for another similar project.
"Finding veterans to tell their stories, I found out, starts at home. For me, that's the city of Gahanna," he said.
Gahanna Mayor Tom Kneeland, a U.S. Army veteran, supports highlighting city employees' military service.
"I am proud to say that the city has a number of employees that are veterans and equally proud of everyone that has served in our armed forces," Kneeland said. "When Jef introduced this project concept to us, we were very excited to partner with him on this initiative and (we) look forward to seeing the end result."
The Veterans History Project website contains stories of veterans from all conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries and from all American military branches.
The veterans' stories are submitted from a wide variety of sources, including family members, students looking for a project involving veterans, and other interested parties.
Participation in the Veterans History Project is voluntary for the city staff.
Eventually, stories will be collected from Gahanna residents who are veterans.
The interviews and information Benedetti collects will be transmitted unedited to the Library of Congress, which then edits the videos and adds the information to its website, loc.gov/vets.
A small amount of paperwork is required before each interview, which lasts about 30 minutes.
Benedetti said he hopes to start the interviews in the next month or two.
The interview location will be determined by the number of responses received.
To participate or for more information, email Benedetti at firstname.lastname@example.org.