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Collection of stories by Dutch veterans now online

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

DOORN – Hundreds of Dutch veterans have shared their stories of life while serving in the Dutch military during missions abroad in the former Dutch East Indies and countries such as the former Yugoslavia, Lebanon and Cambodia, to name but a few. Over a four-year period, the Dutch Veterans Institute recorded thousands of interviews. It posted a selection of them online recently. According the institute, hearing a story directly from a veteran is completely different then reading about it in a report. The institute says it is imperative to preserve the memories of veterans this way. The stories are a mixture of the veterans’ experiences, how they have affected them over the years and historical facts. While they should not be used exclusively, they still are extremely valuable in the overall history of the Dutch military and the missions they were sent out on. The institute’s staff had no shortages of veterans willing to contribute to its project. Older veterans were even wildly enthusiastic about the concept. Many of the interviews took well over two hours.