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Thread: questions to ask a WW2 Veteran

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    Exclamation questions to ask a WW2 Veteran

    Ok i have this class...profiles in history, and we're required to interview a world war 2 veteran and write an essay over the interview. So what would be some questions I could ask?

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    enthused's Avatar
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    ask if used mary jane to calm his nerves
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    Samwhore is offline Registered+
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    How did post-tramatic stress affect you?
    Was war what you expected?
    Did you feel sorry for anyone who you first-hand attacked?

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    oh man i can think of lots.

    id ask em what motivated them to stay alive, so to speak..but theyd probably laugh at me as thats too cliche of a thing to ask.

    but i think it would depend on the mood what sort of questions id want to ask. if they were cool and funny id ask em tons of cool questions..but if they were all stern and emotional maybe and whatnot..id have to ask some more suitable questions.

    im so high, but if you get what i mean..then i dunno. if not, sorry.

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    what were your feelings over there
    did you feel you wouldn'tw alk out alive
    how do you treat people of german (nazi) decent today
    how bad were conditions, meaning eating conditions/food cleanliness/bathing conditions... etc...
    was everyday another target practice as seen in movies, or was there mostly alot of walking/moving around, and occasionally having to resort to firearms
    did you ever feel sorry for anyone you killed (seriously, i wanna know this.. i don't think i could kill someone even in war and not feel bad.. sure he may be trying to kill me, but mostly i'd resort to guns as a last defense and preservation fo my own life... knowing they're basicly 'fighting for their country' would make me feel bad...)

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    1. Which branch of service were you in?

    2. Where did you serve?

    3. What was your job?

    All the other questions kinda depends on how he answers those 3 questions.
    "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." ~ Stephen Roberts

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    Ask him if he feels that hes been in any way brainwashed.
    People are sad now.


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    ...He just calmly sat there yakking away, juggling 3 bowls, 3 lighters, and a worthless brain.

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    i'd ask as few questions as possible and let them tell you what they want; there may be much they don't wish to discuss, and that needs to be honored

    my grandmother in norway ran an underground resistance newspaper during the nazi occupation, and some uncles and friends were put in camps. i find it's usually difficult to extract info from them; they want to forget it; sometimes, you do have to tell them that it means a lot to you to understand what it was like; but always respect their privacy

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    Quote Originally Posted by onequickmove View Post
    i'd ask as few questions as possible and let them tell you what they want; there may be much they don't wish to discuss, and that needs to be honored

    my grandmother in norway ran an underground resistance newspaper during the nazi occupation, and some uncles and friends were put in camps. i find it's usually difficult to extract info from them; they want to forget it; sometimes, you do have to tell them that it means a lot to you to understand what it was like; but always respect their privacy
    since this is for school i highly doubt "teacher, the guy i chose to interview didn't want to answer my questions" is really going to work or slide... i understand what you're saying, but you shoulda just said something like, if whoever you're talking to doesn't want to share his experience find someone else...

    just a thought...

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    Most World War II vets will be more than happy to share, especially 60 years later. Those soldiers are very proud of what they did and were treated like heroes when they returned, unlike Vietnam vets. Should be an interesting interview.

    Ask him whether he was drafted or went in voluntarily.

    Ask him what branch of the military he was in and when he joined or was inducted.

    Ask him what overseas countries he traveled to, what type of training he received, and whether or not he considered being a career military man. Ask him what he did when he was discharged and how the war changed him.

    Ask him whether he was married during the time he was a soldier and, if so, how it affected his wife or, if he was single, how his parents felt about his military service. Ask him how he felt about the whole experience while you're at it.

    Ask him how it changed his life or his views. Was he part of the forces that went across and stormed the beach at Normandy? Part of the forces that helps liberate concentration camps and saw Nazi atrocities? Part of the forces that saw action in the Pacific?

    Watch the movies "The Best Years of Our Lives" (an old movie about returning WWII soldiers) and Clint Eastwood's two 2006 movies "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters from Iwo Jima." Or try and see a movie or two from the list at this site so you can learn a bit more about that war:
    World War II Movies

    Assignments weren't nearly this interesting in my history classes!
    Last edited by birdgirl73; Apr-26-2007 at 23:39.

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    well, i was in WWII. it was sum scary shit. ask me anything, young friend.
    get high in this motha fucka
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    Quote Originally Posted by RHODE h1ghSLANDER View Post
    then his 1-eyed, 3-legged dog that got hit by a car came over and started licking my hand..lol this thing seriously shouldve been put down..it was the first time i saw it, i just started giggling uncontrollably and my friends all looked over at me with death stares..i couldnt stop, it mustve gone on for 5 m,inutes just laughing at this dog...

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    I would just say thank you. then go watch Band of brothers

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    What theater did you serve in (Asian or European)?

    Did you ever question whether what you were doing was right?

    What was the happiest day you remember when serving?

    What was the most difficult day you remember when serving?

    Have you ever seen any movies which you think accurately reflect some of the experoience you went through?

    Do you think the Vietnam vets were treated unfairly?

    What can you tell me about your feelings regarding the current conflict in Iraq?

    Are there any regrets you have all these years later?

    As an aside- I was in the military, and think that Full Metal Jacket is the only movie that ever came close to my experience. The rest were silly. Also, my grandfather's best friend was in the Army from 1939 until 1946. He was in the Battle of the Bulge and a number of other battles because he was infantry. Physically speaking, he was about 5' 6" and 130 lbs. He was wounded 3 times and was awarded 3 purple stars, and a Bronze Star retroactively many years later for surviving the battles his unit was involved in. He became a bookbinder after getting out and died alone in 1985, without ever marrying, and he refused to buy Japanese or German products, which would be difficult now. He was kind of an anti- Rambo, meek and unassuming, but I think the things he saw in the war really affected him. I was really young when I knew him, but remember him saying that he didn't want to get close to new guys because they got killed so often.

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    Did you get the gun of your choice?

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    How many crows did you kill?
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    ask him about camaraderie. i was in the military, and friends you meet in the military are a different kind of friends. when i talk about my experiences in the military, my friends and the things we did are the most fun experiences to talk about.
    land of the free, because of the brave.

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    Exclamation

    Well heres the essay:


    World War 2 seems so long ago; And it was, but for veterans of the war, it seems just like yesterday to them. My great uncle, Herbert ****** was in the war. He didn't fight in the war, but he did help keep the armies on the ground moving. Herb was an engineer for the Petroleum Distribution Company. Their primary mission was to design, construct, operate, and maintain military pipeline systems for transporting, distributing, and storing gasoline in a theatre of operations. They laid pipelines everywhere, putting pump stations every 10-15 miles. From North Africa, to Sicily, to Germany. Wherever General Patton and his army went, they followed not too far behind, supplying them with fuel.
    After leaving the United States, the first place they were shipped to was North Africa. German snipers had to be taken out before they were deployed there. Herb described what it was like upon arriving there. "There were dead bodies floating in the harbor and we had to go pick them up and put them in the warehouse and stackem'. You always stack the bodies head to foot, head to foot, head to foot."
    Laying pipeline isn't an easy job especially in bad conditions. "We worked in snow and sleet, and sometimes we were knee deep in mud." Herb explained, but these conditions were a lot better than the infantry's. "They would shoot their big toes off just to get shipped back to the United States. One general said "next one to do it, that will be it!" And from then on, there was no more of sticking the rifle down on your toe and pulling the trigger."
    With all the work of building pump stations and laying pipelines they hardly found time to write back home. When they did write letters though, they had to be checked before sending them out. They would ink out things they didn't want you to say, such as naming specific places. Herb and his fellow engineers worked all day long, and at night is when they would finally get to somewhat relax.
    Sometimes at night sirens would go off because of German air-raids. These were called "blackouts" because every light was to be put out, so the germans couldn't see the bases from the sky. Even a cigarette held in someone's hand could be seen thousands of feet up. "One night the air-raid sirens went off and I was working on the dock with my flashlight on, and it wouldn't go out for nothing. I beat it against the dock and against a post trying to get it to go out. Finally I threw it in the ocean, because thats the only thing I could think of to do. It's probably still burning down there to this day."
    Herb continued working on these pipelines for about 4 years all the way into Germany, until the war finally ended. "The town exploded, Germans were even out in the street dancing, they wanted it over as bad as we did. Hitler should have been taken out a long time ago, and shot, and skinned, or whatever it is they did to them."
    The sheer exicetment and joy felt when the war ended was something probably unimaginable. Something else unimaginable is trying to put myself in Herb's shoes. Even though he wasn't out there on the front line fighting he was still doing his part for his country. The work he did during the war is something that most people can't even begin to fathom, including me. This was all put into perspective as I ended the interview with my Great Uncle and thanked him for his time. "I'm just glad it was me instead of you there."

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    .... who is herbert *******? lol... (put spaces between the letters)

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    Hitler should have been taken out a long time ago, and shot, and skinned, or whatever it is they did to them."
    my only suggestion, is to either take this out, or signify clearly it was a quote from your interview... as it is said in that report, it seems like you're inserting your own opinion into the article... which if the asignment is to interview a veteran, inserting your own opinions could bring the grade down...

    nothign wrong with the line, but you have to make sure to make the teacher know it was your interview-ee's opinion and not your own

    good work..... all my reports through school were done on wars.... you know we average a major war every 20 years (and yes i knew that before i saw it on george carlins stand up)

    the korean war is when women became a MAJOR part of the war field... the tactics known today as 'guirella' (i can't spell it now lol) were basicly invented by these women... these women were so 'good' they could take out entire us squads (a squad consisting of 12+ soldiers), only to move on to the next squad (meaning they go taway clean and free)

    war is a natural animal emotion, tha tis what we are... animals... war is nothing more then large fights mixed with inteligence.....

    what amazes me the most, is currently we are the smartest animals alive.... now imagine if every animal got the brain we have.... humans aren't actually the best hunters... we would fall straight from the top to the bottom if animals had our brains.... and yes that does relate to war.... we invent missiles that can fly 200 miles, and hit a target no bigger then 3 feet wide... yet we are actually just exempting primitivism...

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    ^^^ acctually, everything in quotes is what he said...and the end of that line about hitler has an end quotation mark. The beginning of the quotation mark is where he started talking.

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