Help Make History Come Alive
About this Fundraising Campaign:
The mission of Voces Oral History Project within the Moody College of Communication is to capture, preserve, showcase, and disseminate the stories of U.S. Latinos and Latinas who served their country during WWII and the Korean and Vietnam war periods.
But without a modern, functioning website, thousands of remarkable stories and beautifully recorded video interviews are obscured. A website redesign will cost $40,000, and we have received a $20,000 matching gift commitment from Guillermo Nicolas, a generous supporter of Voces. Will you help us raise $20,000 by making a gift today and sharing this project with your friends and family?
We believe that stories are powerful ways to make sense of our past -- and our present. These stories, with men and women who have often been left out of historical accounts, are crucial to telling the American Story. For 17 years, students from The University of Texas have interviewed and written stories for all of our subjects.
All gifts received above our fundraising goal will help Voces with other critical funding needs to advance our mission.
One of the Stories Captured through Voces:
Conditions were bleak on Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines, where the Americans had retreated in January 1941. They had no supplies and had to rob their own Army trucks to get food, said Abel Ortega, an Austin native.
"We ate all of the horses of the cavalry . . . all of the water buffalo . . . all of the monkeys, and all the snakes, and everything else that moved in order to stay alive," he said. "It was
a horrible ordeal."
The Americans also lacked medical supplies and soon the U.S. soldiers began to succumb to malaria, dysentery and other tropical diseases, as well as to combat fatigue.
Despite the monumental difficulties, the American troops -- and their Filipino allies -- on Bataan were able to fight off the Japanese landings until April of 1942. Finally, it became clear that an American surrender was inevitable; the soldiers were ordered to destroy their equipment so it would not fall into enemy hands.
"We were overwhelmed," he said. "There were just too many . . . Japanese."
The 22-year-old Ortega knelt down next to his half-track and prayed, "Oh God. I don't want to die."
About Voces Oral History Project:
Voces Oral History Project is a research unit housed within The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication, School of Journalism, in collaboration with the UT Libraries. It was established in 1999 by Journalism professor Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez. The project initially focused solely on the WWII generation and then expanded its collections to include Latinos and Latinas of the Korean War and Vietnam War generations. Most recently, it added those involved in Political and Civic Engagement.
Getting More Involved:
If you are interested in joining the Voces Oral History Advisory Council or want to learn more about leadership level giving opportunities for the Voces Oral History Endowment, please contact Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez at email@example.com or (512) 471-1924.