Students and Veterans Cross Paths and Learn Some History Together

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NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) — Students from Portsmouth High School taking Cindy Perry’s Advanced Placement U.S. History Course had a unique opportunity to learn about previous wars from some local military veterans over the course of their class.

Starting in April, Perry sought out veterans from the local community who would like to participate in a Veteran History Project that would link her current students with the veterans’ personal recollections of their time spent serving in the United States Military.

“I’m also a veteran, a retired Navy lieutenant commander, and I am a strong believer that our vets have so much to offer our younger people and vice versa,” said Perry. “Also, sharing experiences between generations is always a healthy exchange and a great opportunity to learn from one another.”

Perry started a smaller pilot program last school year and had six veterans and 18 students participate in the program. This year 15 veterans and 52 students participated in the program and a field trip was also added. The field trip consisted of the students and veterans meeting at U.S. Naval War College Museum in Newport, Rhode Island so the students and veterans could experience seeing the historical exhibits together.

“We’ve studied U.S. History in depth and this is another opportunity for the students to learn about their community and the history of their country,” said Perry. “The students love it; the best part for them has been getting to know the vets and hearing their stories.”

For the final step, the students will split up into groups of four and interview their veterans about their time spent in the military. The interviews will be recorded, copied and sent to the Library of Congress to be included in their Living History Veteran Project.

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