Veterans’ stories available in Piqua, Troy

Staff report

PIQUA — For several years Dr. Vivian Blevins, a faculty member at Edison State Community College, has worked to communicate the stories of military veterans in Ohio’s Miami Valley to local and national audiences.

Those stories are now available in a collection at the Piqua Public Library and the Miami Valley Veterans Museum in Troy.

“As a community college, we are committed to collaborations with the communities we serve,” said Edison State President, Dr. Doreen Larson. “This is an excellent example of a collaboration among Edison State faculty, students, the Piqua Community Foundation, the Miami Valley Veteran’s Museum, and the Piqua Public Library.”

Blevins worked with Edison State students to interview forty plus area veterans for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. Editor Ted Jones and videographer Nicholas Essinger, both Vietnam veterans, worked with Blevins to produce “Veterans’ Voices” for Western Ohio Cable Television. Dozens of interviews with area veterans conducted by Blevins have appeared in local newspapers as well as newspapers in Kentucky and Tennessee.

A grant from the Piqua Community Foundation provided funding for Blevins to hire Edison State graduate, Lisa Mowen, to complete the work required in duplicating DVDs, making copies, and putting the collection together for the library and the museum, each of which will have a collection on reserve and a circulating collection.

With the delivery of almost 100 artifacts to the library and the museum, they are now accessible to the public.

“We honor our veterans by giving permanence to their understanding of their military experience and making their stories available to their families, students, and the community,” said Blevins.

Blevins will continue to honor veterans this fall with a program devoted to those from the Korean War era on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Piqua campus.

Staff report