There’s a great program in Arizona for high school students and veterans to get together to know each other. It’s called the Veterans Heritage Project, an after-school program where students meet and conduct interviews with veterans from every era to learn more about their service to our country. Thousands of high school students participate in the program. They interview more than 100 Arizona veterans annually and create a yearbook highlighting the veterans and their service stories.
As you can imagine, this project is quite an undertaking. In addition to the book, Since You Asked, these stories of service are preserved in the Library of Congress.
This year’s reception occurs from 3 to 4:30 p.m., with the book signing taking place until 6 p.m. Doors to the event open at 2 p.m. The community reception and book signing happens this Sunday, May 28, at the Chateaux Luxe Event Venue, 1175. E. Lone Cactus Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85024. The public is invited to attend.
“This program helps us honor veterans, preserve America’s heritage and develop future leaders who understand the significance of the price our veterans pay to protect our freedoms,” says Michelle DiMuro, executive director.
“One of our graduating seniors, Steven Rourick, a senior at Shadow Mountain High School received the Flinn Foundation Scholarship but actually turned it down because he also received and accepted a full scholarship to Yale. He earned an Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame scholarship and will receive VHP’s Above and Beyond scholarship at the book reception,” she added.
The program will include seven scholarship awards, ranging from a one-time $1500 award to a $17,500 award renewable for up to four years; teacher of the year award; patriotic music by the Musical Theatre of Anthem; Sandra Day O’Connor High School AFJROTC Color Guard; and a short panel presentation from of Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan veterans. Panelists include:
- COL (Ret.) George “Mad Dog” Priest: Operation Desert Storm
- Patricia Little-Upah: Operation Desert Storm
- COL (Ret.) Rick Erickson: Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Ray Cortez: Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Rose Mattie: Operation Iraqi Freedom & Operation Enduring Freedom
- Rick Gregory: Operation Enduring Freedom
Following the formal program, attendees can purchase the trademark book, Since You Asked and interact with veterans as they sign the pges of their stories. To learn more about the Sunday program, go online at www.veteransheritage.org/bookreception