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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

«October 2014»
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29
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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2345
67
10/7/2014

October 7, 2014

Speakers representing both the Democratic and Republican parties will present their views on local politics during the Red/Blue Summit on October 7 at 7 p.m. in the Nolan Ryan Center. For more information call 281-756-3551.

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8910
10/10/2014

October 10, 2014

The deadline to apply for graduation in the fall will be October 10. To apply call 281-756-3500.

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11
10/11/2014

October 11-18, 2014

The ACC Drama Department will perform the classic play Moon Over Buffalo from October 11-18 at the ACC Theatre. Performances on October 11 and 16-18 will be at 8 p.m. There will be a 2:30 p.m. performance on October 12. Purchase tickets at www.alvincollege.edu/drama/theatreseason or call 281-756-3606.

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12
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10/16/2014

October 16, 2014

Registration for the second, 8-week fall mini semester will end on October 16. For more information call 281-756-3500.

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20212223
10/23/2014

October 23, 2014

ACC Allied Health programs will offer free screenings and information during the annual Fall Fitness Fair on October 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the S Building. For more information call 281-756-5660.

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2425
10/25/2014

October 25, 2014

ACC will host the 39th annual Fall Festival on October 25 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the campus grounds. There will be many fun activities for kids including games, food and other activities. For more information call 281-756-3686.

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26
10/26/2014

October 26, 2014

The ACC Wind Ensemble will have its annual fall concert on October 26 at 3:30 p.m. in the Theatre. For more information call 281-756-3588.

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2728
10/28/2014

October 28, 2014

The ACC Board of Regents will have their monthly meeting on October 28 at 7 p.m. in the Nolan Ryan Center. Call 281-756-3500 for more information.

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29
10/29/2014

October 29, 2014

Registration for the 2015 spring semesters will open on October 29 and close on January 13. Classes begin on January 20. For more information call 281-756-3500.

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