Cheralynn Beaudry signs the book in honor of her MIA father Albert Tiffany at the 2019 book reception.

Local nonprofit’s after-school program connects veterans with students.

It’s back-to-school time, and for many students, there is a local after-school storytelling program that partners students with veterans. The non-profit Veterans Heritage Project (VHP) will celebrate its 20th year of Connecting Students with Veterans. (trademark symbol here, please)

The program develops students’ leadership, confidence, character, and 21st-century skills while honoring veterans’ service and preserving their legacies. Middle school, high school, and college students interview veterans from World War II to modern-day conflicts. These stories are documented through video and written essays, preserved in the student-led publication Since You Asked TM and the Library of Congress. The book includes war and peacetime service stories from veterans of all eras or service branches and a selected theme for the year. The theme for the 20th Anniversary is Since You Asked XX: A Salute to Gold Star Families. A Gold Star Family is defined by legislation as a “parent, spouse, sibling or child of members of the Armed Forces who died as a result of their service during a period of war.”

VHP challenged school partners to help celebrate the anniversary by reaching a milestone of preserving 3,000 veteran legacies. This requires students to interview and write the stories of 317 veterans or Gold Star Families this fall in preparation for spring publication.

“Gold Star Families who prefer to write their loved one’s story rather than be interviewed can do so through our online guide at,” said Michelle DiMuro, executive director. “We know the process is very personal, and an interview setting, however respectful and thoughtful, may not be everyone’s choice.”

Margy Bons, Gold Star Mother to son, Sgt. Michael A. Marzano wrote his story for the third volume of Since You Asked. Years later, in a letter to VHP Founder Barbara Hatch, Bons said, “They say, and it’s true, that the greatest casualty is to be forgotten. I think no greater words have been spoken. With the writing of remembrances of our veterans, we keep alive what never should be forgotten. To know a sacrifice firsthand must be shared to heal. I am grateful this program exists and continues to educate and remember those that donned the uniform.”

Students will release Since You Asked XX: A Salute to Gold Star Families at a free Community Reception and Book Signing in the spring of 2024. Corporate and individual donors support these and other celebratory initiatives. For additional information go online:


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