Americans in Wartime Experience
February 9, 2020

Jim Sawicki, United States Army

Approximately 2 million Americans served their country, and the world, during World War II. Europe is free today, in part, because of the selfless sacrifices of ordinary Americans asked to do extraordinary things. Among them was Jim Sawicki who served in the United States Army and fought with the “Red Bulls” at Anzio during the Battle of the Bulge. Speaking of his experience during the war, Jim stated, “It was my great adventure.”

Sawicki 730x1024Jim Sawicki at the Tank Farm Open House holding a captured Nazi flag.It was Jim Sawicki, who lived less than a mile from the future home of the Americans in Wartime Museum in Dale City, VA, who inspired the Voices of Freedom Project. Our mission is to capture and preserve the stories of Americans in Wartime, Americans like Jim Sawicki.

2020 marks the 10 year for the VOF. In that time, we have met, and had the pleasure of capturing the stories of over 450 Americans who served their country during wartime, or who have been involved in, or witness to events related to war. These Americans include veterans such as Air Force Col. Charles McGee (now General McGee) who fought during WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War amassing over 400 combat sorties. Army Air Force veteran William Bonelli who survived the Pearl Harbor Attack and went on to pilot a B17 over Italy. Angela White who served in the Army during Operation Desert Storm and again during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Tom McAllister. Tom’s medic unit was first on scene at the Pentagon after Islamic terrorist flew a plane into it on September 11th, 2001. He lived what most only witnessed on television. His story, like so many others is one of courage and sacrifice, and of tragedy and triumph.

These stories and many more need to be told, and need to be heard; now, and decades into the future. These Americans are witnesses to history, and their perspectives on the events for which countless books have been written, and movies and documentaries made, are unique and important to the overall understanding of America’s involvement in wars and conflicts around the world. Wars and conflicts that have shaped the course of history. The stories are also important because in many instances, wartime experiences are the defining moments in a persons life. For better or worse, nobody is ever the same afterwards.

Your story is important to you, to us, and to your family. We want to help you tell your story and preserve it for future generations. Click on the link below to learn more, and help us continue to fulfill the museums mission to honor, educate and inspire.
The Americans in Wartime Experience explores the impact of war and conflict on America since WWI. It honors those who served in the military and on the home front and highlights the values they demonstrated in serving – duty, honor, and courage. It examines how periods of conflict have profoundly shaped American society. It educates visitors about the costs of war, both on a personal and social level. It challenges visitors to remember the service and sacrifices made by their fellow citizens to preserve and defend our freedoms. LEARN MORE

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