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Local veterans' stories to be permanently saved in Veterans History Project at Library of Congress

Posted at 3:09 AM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 06:49:19-04

"Why did you choose the Marines?" asks Tony Doyle, who is a Navy Veteran and also a volunteer with Suncoast Hospice. 

The 93-year-old Al Ross flexes his muscles.

The Library of Congress is especially interested in what happened to Ross when he just was a teenager as a Marine fighting in World War II.

"Foxholes. That was scary," says Ross. "I had a friend of mine, right next to me, get shot."

So far the Veterans History Project recorded the oral histories of 76 local veterans of all ages and all branches of service. 

"My wife was on my mind all the time," Ross reminisces. 

"Did you carry a picture of her?" asks Doyle. 

"Oh Yeah. Oh Yeah. She was always with me, " says Ross. 

Suncoast Hospice coordinates and conducts the interviews here and then sends them to the Library of Congress. 

"I love that this is local history that's now becoming part of national history," says Melissa More with Suncoast Hospice. 

Al Ross's story, including seeing the ocean glow as he sailed to Japan as a scared teen, will soon be forever archived among the monuments in Washington, D.C. 

"I was a loner back then and I'd go to the top of the ship and I'd see the phosphorous glowing in the ocean. It was beautiful," explains Ross. 

You can learn more about the Veterans History Project by clicking here.