National Archives Veterans Oral Histories
The National Archives has a long and proud history of hiring American veterans to preserve and make accessible federal government records in our custody, thereby strengthening the democracy for which they so proudly served. In 2017, in commemoration of Veterans Day, Erik Moshe, an intern with the National Archives History Office and veteran of the U.S. Air Force, conducted a series of oral history interviews with veteran National Archives employees about their time in the service.
Disclaimer: The views presented in these oral history interviews are those of the participants and not of the National Archives and Records Administration or the U.S. Government.
Veterans Oral History Interviews
Senior Airman Michael Baimbridge served in the United States Air Force from 1989 to 1993 during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. In his interview, he discusses acclimating to the military after college, his experiences as a medical administrator and working at the hospital at Little Rissington Airfield in England, gaining a foundation in records, and how the military prepared him for eventually working at the National Archives.
Electrician’s Mate Second Class Bob Beebe served in the United States Navy from 1986 to 1992. In his interview, Bob talks about life on board the submarine USS Omaha, his job of getting electricity to equipment, surviving an unexpected jam rudder drill, visiting historic locations around the world, and, finally, coming to work for the National Archives.
Deanna Belamy served in the Army National Guard as a human resources specialist during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. She was deployed to Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, as a supervisory casualty liaison. In her interview, she talks about arriving in Kuwait, seeing and reporting on casualties, insurgents getting on base and cutting communications, and getting to meet her favorite actor, Rob Schneider.
Kim Coryat served in the United States Air Force from 1974 to 1994. She served in the Persian Gulf during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. In her interview, she discusses the exhausting trip from Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, to the United Arab Emirates, dealing with sexual harassment at a time when new career fields were opening to women and while on deployment, hearing President Bush’s war declaration over the base intercom, losing 14 friends, taking her “dream” vacation to Greece, playing an embarrassing prank, and getting hired at the Clinton Presidential Library after retiring from the military.
Lt. Alex Daverede served in the United States Navy from 1979 to 1996. In his interview, he talks about life at the Naval Academy Preparatory School and the Naval Academy; serving on the USS Guadalcanal LPH-7, an amphibious assault ship and helicopter carrier; the many exotic places he visited; escorting Kuwaiti oil tankers during Operation Earnest Will; writing to his wife, who was serving on another Navy ship; and, immediately after separation, taking a job with the National Archives.
Cpl. Jason Glover served in the United States Marine Corps from 1996 to 2000. In his interview, he talks about volunteering for the U.S. Marine Corps Honor Guard; standing guard next to the U.S. Constitution at the National Archives on July 4th, 1997, as the public filed by; struggling to keep emotions in check while participating in funerals at Arlington National Cemetery; participating in Presidential parades; appreciating diversity in the Marine Corps; an interesting use of masking tape to perfect his uniform; and using his operational and leadership skills learned in the military in his positions at NARA.
Warren Halsey served in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps for 22 years, from 1975 to 1997. In his interview, he talks about being a minority in the service, his job as a canine handler, becoming a basic training drill sergeant and the challenges of that assignment, experiences serving in West Germany and Korea, attending Jungle Survival School, deploying to Panama during the 1989–90 U.S. invasion and the conditions there, taking part in the Renacer Prison raid, unit casualties, and, after retiring from the military, joining NARA as a security specialist.
Bryan McGraw earned his commission after completing the U.S. Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at Southeast Missouri State University. He entered active duty in 1985 and was assigned to engineering services, which were responsible for building up air bases. In his interview, he discusses deploying in support of operations around the world, serving as a mortuary officer, always trying to live up to a high standard, meeting his wife, pranks played, and later becoming an access coordinator for the National Archives.
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