Fifty-seven Monache High School juniors in the Multimedia and Technology Academy worked on a video project interviewing 18 veterans and filming them with their teacher Robert Styles for about a month, before publication.
A team of three students would interview a veteran, and the project resulted in 17 videos being submitted to the Library of Congress.
Here is the video link:
Students were serious, and understood the project. And they were respectful of the veterans, Styles said. They were also eager to work with them and help veterans tell their stories.
Styles and his MTA students want to continue working with veterans, and plan a yearly veterans video project.
They had a hard time finding veterans, Styles said, but when they did, they found a wide age range of men who served in the military to be in the project. Unfortunately, there were no female veterans interviewed for the first video project.
The veterans are mostly from the Viet Nam War, there was one from the Korean War, a few from 21st century warfare, and a few who were active during the Cold War.
“I give a lot of credit to the other teachers in Pathways in MTA. Bob Sundre teaches history, so the students were doing research about the wars. In English class with Monica Toriz, she had the students refining their interview questions. We also used a very large list of interview questions that the Library of Congress gives you to ask veterans,” Styles said.
“This was our first year having our MTA video production students interview local veterans in our community and it went very well. We conducted seventeen different interviews with eighteen local veterans. The students were very respectful and professional during the interview process, and captured the vital stories of these important members of our community. The veterans were very open to working with our students, and we appreciate them taking the time to conduct these interviews. We hope to do this project again every year, with the goal of making it better every time.”
This is the fourth year that Styles has taught video production and English at Monache, and his wife Jessica, came up with an idea to thank veterans for their participation in the video project.
She worked with J.J. Doyle Learning Director Judie Bochat, who said, “Doyle students were excited to create home-made thank you cards for our local veterans. The students that participated quickly finished their class work so they could create their unique card which would be presented to a local veteran by Monache’s MTA students. Doyle was honored to be a part of this project.”
MTA students spoke about their experiences interviewing veterans and a few of their quotes follow:
Autumn Villarreal said, “I felt honored to film my veteran and something I learned was our veterans don’t get enough recognition and they don’t deserve that. They fought for what we have today.
“It was a very heartfelt project. For some of these veterans it was the first time they spoke about some of their experiences.
“And to know that they choose Monache to help get their messages across made my experience better.
I learned a lot. And I learned that some of the military service branches are not as recognized as others.”
Villarreal interviewed Navy Veteran Lou Marchant.
Dillon Timmerman said, “I felt very enthusiastic about interviewing the veterans. I wanted to do this project because I felt every veteran should be able to tell their story. What I learned from this project is that a lot of war veterans want to tell their story, just no one asks about their story.
“This project really helped me understand the veterans emotions and what they went through coping and dealing with what they experienced.”
Timmerman interviewed Steve Reilly, a Navy veteran who was in Viet Nam.
Both Villarreal and Timmerman have been in the MTA for three years.
Alyssa Roman said: “I really enjoyed interviewing the veterans. It really showed me how much they do for us. And many people do not appreciate their service. I learned that there are people sacrificing themselves and putting their lives on the line just for freedom and what we believe in. It’s very brave of them and they deserve more credit than they receive.”
Other veterans featured on the website are Tony Cervantes, Jeff Weber, Don Cox, Bill Flores, Freddy Gonzalez, Richard Goode, Bob Inabinette, Greg King, David Manville, Hector Medellin, Cody Ridenour, Marc Salazar, Juan Sanchez, Mitch Sandoval, Don Sowers and Dave Tedford.