War and Trauma: The Making History Project

Devyn Forquer, Newspaper Practicum

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Patrick Russell is a “lawyer by trade” but is preserving history, one interview at a time. 

Devyn Forquer
Photo of Patrick Russell


Russell has interviewed over 30 veterans, from World War II Veterans, Korean War Veterans, to Afghanistan War Veterans as part of The Making History Project. 


The project is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving veteran stories, documenting combat trauma, and comparing trauma across conflict. 


Russell’s inspiration for the project was his grandfather Wilbert H. Russell, who was a WWII veteran in the United States Army Air Corps.  He was a bomber mechanic stationed in Brazil. 


He first started when he spoke with Carl Buckler from the 101st Airborne at the D-Day Anniversary event at Omaha Beach on June 6th, 2010. There he met Carl Buckler, a WWII Veteran from the 101st Airborne, who stormed the beaches  


“This has to be preserved; they so openly and willingly talk about it, other people need to hear this,” Russell said. 


He believes that video taping the interview is much more important, as you cannot capture trauma with audio and that there is a different meaning if you can see it. 


The method to his madness includes a digital interview, burning a copy for the veteran and the veteran’s family, creating a record, and sending to archives at the Library of Congress. 


Russell presented three interviews, two with WWII Veterans and another veteran from the Afghanistan War.  


His current research consists of combat trauma as the silent injury – most veterans do not talk about it unless they are asked, and even to this day, some will not admit, or do not think, they ever suffered from any kind of war-related trauma or PTSD. 


The interviews with these veterans hold a lot of powerful memories.  Some veterans admit a lot of the memories and thoughts they express in the interviews are the first time they’ve shared them. 


To check out some of Patrick Russell’s interviews and for more information about the Making History Project, visit http://making-history-project.com 

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

War and Trauma: The Making History Project