The time has come to honor the men and women whom have served our country with a multimedia Internet presence. VeteranImages.org is a non-profit organization which will preserve and showcase the digitized experiences of the selfless servicemen and women whom have sacrificed so much for so many.
I will meet with as many veterans as possible within the Central New York area in order to capture their wartime experiences for future generations. I will do this by photographing, recording and videotaping them. VeteranImages.org will also scan their wartime photographs, letters they received, awards and medals.
This data will be backed up regularly to ensure these treasures will not fade. These memories will then be posted online so that every American will be able to access them on the Web.
In a time when heroes are few and far between, when our public figures have fallen from grace, the lessons and experiences of these brave Americans become more and more relevant. They are the REAL role models whom we should emulate.
Their stories of courage and sacrifice will bowl you over. This is because they endured unimaginable hardships and separation from loved ones, all the while serving in a conflict which seemed to have no end. There was a job to do and they knew it was upon them to perform it.
Their stories inspired myself while I was deployed to Iraq 8 years ago. I took heart in knowing that these brave men and women, many of whom were just out of grade school, rose to the challenge and endured so much more than I experienced, and came out the other side, stronger and wiser.
"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he or she that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman...What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated..."
-Thomas Paine: The Crisis, December 23, 1776