SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Veterans have many stories from their war experiences that they don’t openly share.
However, students at Sanborn Central High School are diving deeper into that history by interviewing family and community members who served.
KELOLAND’s Ariana Schumacher went to Forestburg to learn more about the project and how it impacts the students involved.
From 1966 to 1969, Keith Senska served with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He has many stories and now he is sharing those memories with his granddaughter Reed for her class project.
“Well I got a draft notice, I have drafted a Marine which not many were lucky to be drafted a marine. But I didn’t want to be a Marine, of course, so you had so many hours to go enlist in another branch of the service. All you had to do was sign your name and you were in the Navy but that saved me from being a Marine and I heard the Navy wasn’t all that bad,” Senska said.
Ariana Schumacher: Do you recall the day your service ended?
Keith: Yes, I was in San Diego California, our ship was in for maintenance.
…and documenting everything into a report, not only for a grade, but to keep for a family heirloom.
“It’s very important that we know what our background is you know as a society, as Americans, and locally we have a bunch of farmers and people that have served in the military and don’t get the recognition that they probably deserve so that’s what we try to do with this little project,” English and social studies teacher, Corey Flatten said.
“I would assume in their history books, they get into the different wars and to get to the vision of a veteran that was in that probably gives it more..makes it more interesting,” Senska said.
Helping students with their class project, while also giving veterans a space to share their stories.
“I never knew half the stuff that he brought up. My mom said that he actually never talked about it after he got brought back from the Navy,” student Reed Senska said.
“I think it’s good for myself probably too, to tell some of that to get it out of your mind probably,” Keith Senska said.
Flatten says, over the past 10 years, he has collected around 200 student reports on local veterans. He hopes they keep them as a piece of family history to pass down for generations.