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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ACC Court Reporting Students Record Veteran History

ACC Court Reporting Students Record Veteran History

They brought their medals, documents and photos. Most importantly, they brought their memories of war.

Fourteen veterans arrived at Alvin Community College on July 19 to work with court reporting students for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, which documents the experiences of veterans.

World War II veteran Elmer Lee, 88, of Alvin, talked about his time in the U.S. Navy piloting boats loaded with men and equipment in the Pacific during the fight against the Japanese.

Lee was also sent to Japan after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

“Our ship took off as fast as we could go,” he said. “They were congregating us for the invasion of Japan.”

The invasion never came as the Japanese surrendered in September.

Lee’s daughter Betty Deaton came with him to the college. The Veterans History Project is a valuable endeavor because so many World War II veterans are passing away.

“It’s great that they’re going to take this down and preserve it,” she said.

Court reporting student Amy Quincey said she first learned about the project at a Texas Court Reporters Association convention and wanted to participate.

“The stories are very interesting and they come from so many different perspectives,” she said.

Each veteran worked with an interviewer and a court reporter who transcribed the veterans’ stories verbatim.

Charles Michalak, 61, of Alvin, worked as part of a helicopter crew while serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War. The helicopters would take on gunfire from the enemy as the crew tried to carry fallen troops.

The sonar expert also shared stories while working as a sonar expert, hunting for Russian submarines off the coast of California in the 1960s.

On one particular outing, Michalak recalled finding a Russian trawler and then exchanging gifts with the crew members.

“It was a game,” he said. “We were out there playing hunt and seek. It wasn’t the people but the governments who were at war.”

Michalak said he agreed to share his experiences because it was important to record the history while helping court reporting students improve their skills.

“I’m here to help the students,” he said.

The veterans also talked about their lives after the war and how they were treated once they arrived home.

“You go in as a child and you come out a man,” he said.

Once he moved back to Alvin, Lee became a rancher. He also raises and sells hay to cattle ranchers.

While visiting San Francisco in the 1960s, Michalak said he was cursed by people as he walked around the city in uniform.

That wasn’t the case in Alvin, he said.

“The people here in Alvin have been beautiful,” he said.

To learn more about the Veterans History project, visit www.loc.gov/vets.

Campus Events Calendar

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9/9/2014

September 9, 2014

The Office of Student Activities will host an informational session on September 9 at 12:30 p.m. on its upcoming program called Dolphins Lead, which will teach students leadership skills. For more information call 281-756-3688.

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10
9/10/2014

September 10, 2014

The ACC Student Government Association will have its first meeting of the school year on September 10 at 12:30 p.m. in the Texas Room. For more information call 281-756-3688.

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11
9/11/2014

September 11, 2014

The Texas Gulf Coast Blood Center will host a blood drive on September 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Texas Room. The drive is open to all donors in the community. For more information call 281-756-3688.

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1213
9/13/2014

September 13, 2014

Area students will be treated to a free lunch along with guest speakers that will share tips on becoming effective leaders at the annual Student Leadership Conference on September 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Guest speaker will be Andy Stoll. For more information call 281-756-3688.

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14
15
9/15/2014

September 15, 2014

The Texas Gulf Coast Blood Center will host a blood drive on September 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Texas Room. The drive is open to all donors in the community. For more information call 281-756-3688.

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1617
9/17/2014

September 17, 2014

Students will learn about the legislative process during the annual Constitution Day event on September 17 at 11 a.m. in the Texas Room. For more information call 281-756-3688.

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9/22/2014

September 22, 2014

Registration for the second, eight-week fall mini semester will open on September 22 and close on October 16. Classes will begin on October 20. For more information call 281-756-3500.

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9/25/2014

September 25, 2014

The ACC Board of Regents will have their monthly meeting on September 25 at 7 p.m. in the Nolan Ryan Center. Call 281-756-3500 for more information.

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9/29/2014

September 29, 2014

The Fine Arts Gallery will host an exhibit of the works of William Jones from September 29 to October 24. There will be a reception on October 1 in the Fine Arts Gallery. For more information call 281-756-3605.

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301
10/1/2014

October 1, 2014

The Student Government Association will have its monthly meeting on October 1 at 12:30 p.m. in the Texas Room. Call 281-756-3686 for more information.

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