Auburn High students pay homage to veterans

AUBURN, Ala.- Auburn High School students are taking part in the fourth installment of the Veterans Project. This time, they are interviewing those who served in Operation Desert Storm/Shield up to the War on Terror.

AP U.S. History teacher, Blake Busbin started the program back in 2014. He said he started it on a whim as a way to give the students a hands on way to learn and become a historian, as well as preserve the legacy of and honor veterans. Busbin said it gives the students the chance to learn the realities of war from those who experienced it. Busbin added that it also allows the students to understand the historical context of what is still being debated today. Since 2014, students have interviewed World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans.

The interviews are recorded and will be sent to the library of congress.

Over the course of Thursday and Friday, more than 50 veterans will be interviewed by the students.


One of the veterans who was present on Thursday was Lt. Col. Robert Howard. Lieutenant Colonel Howard entered the Army back in October of 1989, and he is now a battalion commander at Fort Benning. Lieutenant Colonel Howard said he was proud to take part in the event, and he said that when he read the questions he was going to be asked, he knew the students had done their homework and would provide a thrilling interview. Lieutenant Colonel Howard said the interview allowed him look back on the early stages of his career, and he added that it was refreshing to see the students take an interest in what their military has done over the past years. He stressed the importance of there being a cost to a mission, and the lessons learned need to be captured so we can learn from them.

One of the students who participated in the event was junior, Rett Waggoner.

“It was really eye-opening just to hear his experiences and to hear a first-hand input as to why all the things we hear on the news happen,” Waggoner said. “We hear the big picture, but we never hear the stories, the details, the stuff that only he knows.”

Waggoner added “it makes me want to study more.” “It makes me want to do more things that are big like that. If we can do something like this when we’re 11th graders, in the future, who knows what we can do?”

There are still time slots for Friday’s interviews.

For more information, contact Blake Busbin at


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