Veteran Interview Questionniare

Veteran’s Name: _________________________________

Interviewee’s Name (if different from Veteran’s name)___________________________


Date of interview: ________________ Personal interview ¨Phone interview ¨Email correspondence þ



Directions: Please provide as many answers to the following questions as the interview will allow. Some of the questions might not be applicable; and some of them the interviewee may not wish to answer. If your veteran is deceased, find someone who knew the veteran on a personal basis and see how many of the questions they are able to answer in place of the veteran. If an interview in person is not possible, you may consider either a phone interview and/or email correspondence. To complete the extra-credit assignment for a grade, turn in this handout WITH the biographical data form. The biographical data form should be on top.


Segment 1: For the Record

If you are recording/videotaping the interview, state at the beginning of the recording:

Ø  Date and place of the interview

Ø  Name of the person being interviewed

Ø  Interviewee’s birth date

Ø  Names of the people attending the interview (including the interviewer and camera operators)

Ø  War and branch of service

Ø  What his or her rank was

Ø  Where he or she served

For example: Tock is Friday, June 7, 2003 and we are interviewing John Smith at his home. Mr. Smith is 78 years old, having been born on November 23, 1923. My name is Jane Doe and I’ll be the interviewer. John Smith is my uncle. He is my mother’s brother. Uncle John, could you state for the recording what war and branch of service you served in? [for answer] What was your rank? [ for answer] Where did you serve? [ for answer]


Segment 2: Jogging Memory

  1. Were you drafted or did you enlist?


  1. Where were you living at the time?


  1. Why did you join?


  1. Why did you pick the service branch you joined?


  1. Do you recall your first days in service? If so, what did it feel like?


  1. Tell me about your boot camp/training experience(s).


7, Do you remember your instructors? How did you get through it?


Segment 3: Experiences

Appropriateness of questions will vary if the veteran served during war time.

  1. Which war(s), if any, did you serve in (WWI, WWH, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan)?


  1. Where exactly did you go?


  1. Do you remember arriving and what it was like?


  1. What was your job/assignment?


  1. Did you see combat?


  1. Were there many casualties in your unit?


  1. Tell me about a couple of your most memorable experiences.



  1. Were you a prisoner of war? If so, tell me about your experiences in captivity and when freed.


  1. Were you awarded any medals or citations?


  1. How did you get them?


  1. Were you responsible for any battle planning?


  1. Did you sustain any injuries? If so, what were the circumstances?


Segment 4: Life—Ask questions about life in the service and/or at the front or under fire

  1. How did you stay in touch with your family?


  1. What was the food like?



  1. Did you have plenty of supplies?


\4. Did you feel pressure or stress?


  1. Was there something special you did for ‘good luck”?


  1. How did people entertain themselves?


  1. Were there entertainers?


  1. What did you do when on leave?


  1. Where did you travel while in the service?


  1. Do you recall any particularly humorous or unusual event?


  1. What were some of the pranks that you or others would pull?


  1. Do you have photographs?


  1. Who are the people in the photographs?


  1. What did you think of officers or fellow soldiers?


  1. Did you keep a personal diary?


Segment 5: After Service

Appropriateness of questions will vary if the veteran had a military career.

  1. Do you recall the day your service ended?


  1. Where were you?


  1. What did you do in the days and weeks afterward?


  1. Did you work or go back to school?


  1. Was your education supported by the G.I. Rill?


  1. Did you make any close friendships while in the service?


  1. Did you continue any of those relationships?


  1. For how long?


  1. Did you join a veteran’s organization?


Segment 6: Later Years and Closing

  1. What did you go on to do as a career after the war?


  1. Did your military experience influence your thinking about war or about the military in general?


  1. If in a veteran’s organization, what kinds of activities does your post or association have?


  1. Do you attend reunions?


  1. How did your service and experiences affect your life?


  1. What is the biggest difference between life today and life when you were young? What things are always the same, even though the world seems to have changed so much?


  1. Could you give any advice, based on your experience, to younger people today on how to get along and cope with all the new ideas and things that are likely to come along during the course of their lives? We are sure to witness more wars, inventions, social changes, economic problems, and so on. How can a younger person prepare himself or herself for that?


  1. Is there anything you would like to add that we have not covered in this interview?