Q:

What are some good topics to cover in a video interview with a veteran?

A:

Quick Answer

Interviews with veterans can be broken into several segments, including enlistment and training, war time and combat, everyday life while serving and experiences after military service. Veterans may also want to share any lessons learned from their experiences and thoughts about war.

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Full Answer

Many veterans were conscripted before the draft ended in 1973; others chose to enlist for various reasons. Questions to ask include: Were you drafted, or did you choose to enlist? How did you feel about serving in the military? What branch of service did you choose and why? What was boot camp like?

Veterans may have memories of combat specific to the war and time period in which they served. In the category of war time and combat, question to ask include: In which war did you serve? Where did you serve and what was the area like? What was your job in the unit? What was combat like, and did you see many casualties? Veterans with a higher rank may want to share battle strategies, while enlisted men may remember officers they served under and stories from the battlefield.

Everyday life while in the service is different for each generation. Some soldiers today are able to communicate with their families via the Internet, while veterans in the past had to rely on letters from home. Questions about life in the service include: How did you communicate with your family at home and how often? Were you lonely, tired or stressed? Did you get to relax occasionally, and what did you do for fun?

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