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Frequently Asked Questions

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Veterans. Families. Protesters. Refugees. The Vietnam War left an indelible mark on millions of people. You have a story to tell. You can share that story with others.

How long will the interview take?

Each appointment is 30 minutes in length. Some people will take less that the allotted time. Some people will take a little longer to tell their story.

I have a conflict at the time listed for my location. Can I schedule an appointment at another time?

Unfortunately, because of the timeline of this project scheduling individual sessions outside of our established schedule isn’t possible. However, you can share your story in text using the online form at www.prairiepublic.org/memories. You can also record you story using a video camera or cell phone. Contact memories@prairiepublic.org to make arrangements to upload your video.

I’m not a combat veteran. Are you interested in my story?

Absolutely. The Vietnam War had an impact on people in all walks of life. We are interested in hearing the diverse experiences of this time in our country’s history: civilians, conscientious objectors, military support, protestors, refugees, immigrants, and the families of the military. How did the Vietnam War impact your life? Add your story.

What should I talk about?

Make It Personal. Consider the question: How has Vietnam impacted your life? Describe how you felt – not just the facts. Share personal anecdotes and perceptions in a conversational tone. And weave in the specific details about an experience, person, place, or thing – that way, you allow others to better imagine your story.

I’m worried about being attacked or put on the spot to defend my views

This is a safe space for everyone to share, honor, and reflect. The interviewers involved in this project are professionals who will treat you with respect during your interview and maintain their impartiality throughout.

What if I change my mind?

If you decide not to do an interview after signing up or if a conflict arises with your scheduled time, please call 1-800-359-6900 so that we can make arrangements.

Is there anything I should bring?

You can enhance your story by adding a variety of media, including video, photos, documents or audio. Get creative. Letters, maps, sketches, journal pages, documents, and photos of mementos from the Vietnam War era are also great storytelling tools. The State Historical Society of North Dakota will be providing archivist and technicians to scan and photograph any mementos you bring with you. You may take them home with you or find out how to donate your collection.

Can I just bring in my mementos without doing an interview?

Yes you can. It is not required to schedule an appointment to have your mementos scanned or photographed. You can bring them to any interview location at the times and dates listed.

▢ I have photos or documents to add to the digital archive. Please send me more information.

What should I wear?

Wear something comfortable. Only your head and shoulders will be shown on camera. It would be helpful if you wore a button front shirt with a collar, a polo neck, or a jacket so we can easily clip on our microphone and hide the cord. It’s best to wear a color rather than bright white or black.

Can I do the interview and not have it on television?

Please familiarize yourself with our Terms and Conditions that you must agree to before sharing your story with us. When you sign the release, you give us permission to use the interview without restrictions. The oral histories gathered in this project may be included in our television, radio, or online components at our discretion. If you do not choose to agree to this, we understand but cannot do an interview.

Can I recommend other people who you should interview?

Yes you certainly can. Please contact anyone you think might be interested in participating in this project and have them call 1-800-359-6900 or email memories@prairiepublic.org to schedule an interview appointment.

Why are you doing this project?

Prairie Memories The Vietnam War Years will shine a light on the experiences of the many North Dakotans and Minnesotans whose lives were changed. The oral histories will be illustrated by images, home movies, correspondence, and other documents by contributors from across the prairie region. In partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, these pieces of history will be scanned and digitally preserved for the use of scholars, students, and the public to learn more about the legacy of this important time in our history.

▢ I would like to add my voice to this project. Please contact me to schedule an oral history interview.

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