Veterans Programs

Maryland Humanities is proud to present a series of programs that explore the military experience and what it means to serve.

As home to eleven military installations, a distinguished military academy, and an estimated 400,000 veterans, the state of Maryland shares a long and important history with America’s armed forces. Veterans and active duty military personnel are our neighbors, co-workers, and our family members. Maryland Humanities, in partnership with veterans’ service organizations across the state, has developed a series of programs for veterans and active duty military, their families, and the public at large that use the humanities to explore the history, experience, and meaning of war and military service.

Veterans’ Programs

Veterans Oral History Project

Since 2015, students at Southern High School in Anne Arundel County have conducted oral history interviews with Vietnam War veterans and Vietnamese immigrants who experienced the war. These students first receive training in oral history techniques in classroom sessions with oral historian Dr. Barry Lanman of the Martha Ross Center at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Transcripts and video of the interviews are housed at the Maryland State Archives, and can be accessed online here. The project is showcased at annual community events.

In partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities, Southern High School, and the Martha Ross Center for Oral History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, we are proud to offer a new oral history educational resource for teachers. The virtual tool kit deepens students’ understanding of Vietnam War through student-led interviews with Vietnam veterans and features lesson plans, teacher notes, and student worksheets. Learning how to collect and analyze first-hand experiences helps students better understand how history is recorded, why it is valuable, and the concrete ways historic events—like the Vietnam War—impact the lives of individuals. Beyond the historical research skills students gain through creating original research, oral history as an educational experience builds students’ life skills like empathy, critical reading and thinking, awareness, self-confidence, communication, and inter-generational engagement.

Explore the EDSITEment lesson plans and tool kit to bring the Veterans Oral History Project to your community!

To learn more, email Judy Dobbs, Anna Keneda, or call (410) 685-4185. You can also get a taste of the program through the video below.

Maryland Veterans: A Journey Through Vietnam from thinkport on Vimeo.

Video produced by Maryland Public Television

Oral histories conducted and filmed by the students of Southern High School

Veterans Book Groups

Maryland Humanities works with local veterans to plan and facilitate small-group reading and discussion programs at the Baltimore County Library, Towson branch, the Harford County Library, Bel Air branch, or the St. Mary’s County Library, Lexington Park branch. Created by the Maine Humanities Council, Veterans Book Groups aim to bring veterans of all eras and active military together to talk about military experiences and returning to civilian life while providing an informal yet supportive environment for discussion.

Learn More About Veterans Book Groups

Additional Veterans’ Activities

Humanities Connection

A series of segments on Humanities Connection, Maryland Humanities’ weekly radio program, will feature veteran voices, providing reflections on great literature of war, military history, and highlighting service organizations and programs using humanities to reach and connect service members. Check out upcoming segments to see when veterans-related segments will air, or mark your calendar to listen every Thursday at 4:44pm on WYPR, 88.1FM.

Maryland Humanities’ Blog

For military- and veterans-related topics from Maryland Humanities’ blog, subscribe or see a list of past topics.

  • “[Veterans Book Group] was better than expected! [I got] a feeling of connection and pride with the other member [and] I’d love to participate again in any future book clubs—I enjoyed the stimulation.”

    Veterans Book Group participant
  • We were really moved by the testimony of the veterans and impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the students.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, parent
  • Thank you once again for the opportunity for me to share with your students a little about my Vietnam experiences. What you are doing is very special and I hope you will be able to continue this fine effort.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
  • It was an interesting thing to do. The process of digging through photos, souvenirs, copies of old orders, and other memorabilia was meaningful after 43 years…I was impressed with all of the students I met.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
  • I enjoyed it as much as the students.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
  • “It was an amazing experience to meet and talk to a veteran.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “This oral history experience was amazing. I learned so much and will never forget this. I LOVED IT, I was super skeptical at first. I felt like we had a lack of planning but I think everything went so great.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “Being a part of the group provided me with a safe area to revisit my thoughts and feelings on my experience during the war.”

    Veterans Book Group participant
  • “This was the first time I felt comfortable admitting that I was a female Viet Nam vet!”

    Veterans Book Group participant
  • “Again it was a wonderful experience with your students and a great project for them. To see and talk to real Vietnam vets is important to get real stories. You have a lot of work to do but it is a really worthwhile experience for the students “as well” as us Vietnam vets.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
  • I enjoyed it very much and I learned quite a lot. I think there is a lot that can be learned from these experiences and I think this could be a positive experience for the veterans also.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “I feel very proud and happy that I did this, it motivates me to learn more about history. My opinion of history has changed. It made me more motivated to learn about history and it seems much more interesting now.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “Talking with students also helps those of us who have said little about our combat experiences because, in a sense, we feel guilty about why others died and not us/me? So, to be able to talk about it helps the veterans. The opportunity you provided to both students and veterans is wonderful and I do hope that our messages are meaningful to students.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
  • “I feel more connected to history.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • In history class you always read books written by people who didn’t experience it so it was nice to get an actual view on it. It was different because you got actual stories from history that many people don’t learn. I would like to thank you for giving me this experience in my freshman year.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
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Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities.
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108 West Centre Street
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(410) 685-0095
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