CHICAGO (CBS) — As the nation honors wounded and fallen military personnel for Purple Heart Day, several veterans sat down to retell their war stories so they can be recorded in the Library of Congress.
Members of the National Court Reporters Association volunteered their time to transcribe the stories of eight Purple Heart recipients in Chicago as they have for thousands of others in the last 13 years.
“Since 2003, court reporters have transcribed just about 4,000 oral histories that are now part of the Library of Congress,” said B.J. Shorak, deputy director of the National Court Reporters Association.
Vietnam veteran Tom Vargas, of Palos Hills, was only 19 when he became the sole survivor of an attack in Khe Sanh in 1969.
“The medic was trying to jump out of the tank, but I’m trying to get him back in, and I end up grabbing his foot, and then I just had his foot, that’s all. He got blown away,” he said.