Man Travels to Virginia in Quest to Interview WWII VeteransBreaking News
tags: veterans, military history, oral history, World War 2
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — When Rishi Sharma was in high school, he would walk into nursing homes and ask if there were any World War II veterans he could talk to. He wanted to thank them for their service.
They were so happy at one to see a young person, they took him to 25 different rooms to talk to the vets. After hearing their stories, he decided he wanted to start recording them. He turned a conference room into a makeshift studio and began making videos of his conversions with the men he spoke to.
Now, he travels around the country doing the same thing.
Sharma, 22, has interviewed about 1,100 veterans over the past four years in 45 states, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. His goal is to interview all living World War II combat veterans who fought for the allied countries and eventually make a television series. There are about 325,000 World War II veterans left and 296 die each day, according to the National World War II Museum. Nearly 7,000 are in Virginia, according to the museum.
Now he’s in Norfolk, hoping to collect more stories.
“World War II veterans literally saved the world,” Sharma said.
Sharma created a nonprofit called Heroes of the Second World War for his project. First, he started a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds to travel and do interviews. Once he got some media attention, it took off. He’s spent much of the past four years on the road, away from his home in California.