NY National Guard Looks to Document Soldiers' Stories for History's Sake

A history project that seeks to chronicle the stories of New York Army National Guard soldiers and veterans who've served in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is getting underway.

Soldiers are being asked to contribute their histories and photographs digitally so the Guard can begin to gather detailed information for inclusion in their official records.

"There's been a lot of deployments, but there's not a lot of historians down in the state at the unit levels and a lot of this material could be lost so this kind of material is very useful for lessons learned” Lieutenant Colonel Paul Fanning said.

Fanning said the Guard hopes to document as many as 6,000 stories from past and present soldiers who've served since September 11, 2001.

"We really need to capture our New York units in this program because we are the only part of America's military team that is literally gone from ground zero to the Sunni Triangle and on to the mountains of Afghanistan," he said.

The personal histories will be included in the Army National Guard's official records and archives.

Participating soldiers will also receive CD copies that will be distributed in May at ceremonies at armoires across the state

The "Remember my Service" program will be financed by the National Guard Bureau. Officials have no estimates yet on what it will cost.