AP English Students Pilot Veterans Lecture Series

Welcome Home, Vietnam Veterans! What an exciting day sharing Vietnam Veterans’ stories with students at Niceville High School. Veterans Heritage Project™ (VHP) connects students with veterans in their communities, offering students the opportunity to become immersed in one-on-one personal accounts of heroism and service to our country, while learning life-long skills, developing a passion for history, writing and civics, and an appreciation of the freedoms that came through the sacrifices of those who have served our nation. Niceville High School is the first pilot program started outside the state of Arizona. Eight Veterans were interviewed and their stories will be published in the 2019 Phoenix Edition of Since You Asked TM.

Veterans Heritage Project is a 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to connecting students with veterans in order to honor veterans, preserve America’s heritage and develop future leaders. VHP offers students an opportunity to learn history from primary sources and skill in communication, writing, technology and project management. It enables them to achieve a new sense of purpose, whether in their daily school activities, pursuit of higher education and choices in careers.

We are thrilled to have a pilot chapter of the VHP started here in Florida at Niceville High School. This month we will begin the Veterans Lecture Series with the Advanced Placement English classes at Niceville High School. AP English studied the book “The Things They Carried,” a groundbreaking meditation on war, memory, imagination and the redemptive power of storytelling. The AP English department hosted eight Vietnam Veterans on February 22 to share their story with the classes. Students recorded the interviews and will archive them with the Library of Congress in Washington, DC as well as write each Veteran’s story to be published in the VHP 2019 edition of Since You Asked TM. The students will also host a book signing reception for all the Veterans included in the book in the spring of 2019.

The student interviewers were from the classes of Christy Ellis, Pat Mixon, Jennifer Sjostrom and Geoffrey Watson, all AP Language and Composition teachers at Niceville High School.

Veterans who shared their stories are below:

Lt. Col John Brennan III (Navigator) interviewed by Rosalina Lombardi

Lt. Col. John Brennan III


Colonel Howard Hill (Pilot and POW) interviewed by Alex Pugh

Col. Howard Hill


Sr. Master Sargent George Legge (Information Systems) interviewed by Angellee Morales Rios

SMSgt. George Legge


Lt. Col. Gayle Norgaard (Nurse) interviewed by Anna Caravan

Lt. Col. Norgaard


Col. Joseph Purka, Jr. (Command and Control) interviewed by Collin Szymczak

Col. Purka


Master Sargent Larry Sjostrom (Ground Equipment Technician)
interviewed by his granddaughter Hannah Sjostrom

MSgt. Sjostrom


Col. Jack Starr (Pilot) interviewed by Taylor Strickler

Col. Starr


Lt. JG. Patricia Wallace Mallette (Line Officer NAS) interviewed by Olivia Tuckey

Lt. Mallette

Category: Academics , Events , General , Recognition