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This collection details the wartime experiences of a diverse group of West Texas individuals. Their stories include perspectives on small-town life, reflecting on the experience of parents living in Nazi Germany, corresponding from a German POW camp, documenting war travels through photography, and reflecting on the Vietnam War. Each story gives a unique outlook on the personal, historical and societal aspects of wartime, creating an in-depth understanding of these individuals’ experiences.

Their Stories

Historic photo of downtown Ballinge, Texas with a sign that reads, Ballinger Welcomes You.

Greatest Generation

Jessie Merrifield

A marine from Ballinger, Merrifield talks about small-town life and his military career.

Historic Photo of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

Greatest Generation

Ilse Williams

Born in 1952 in West Germany, Williams provides a unique account from a member of the Greatest Generation.

Postcard from Arthur to Bernice, November 11, 1944

World War II

Arthur Montgomery

Read the postcards and letters exchanged between Montgomery and his wife while he was in a German POW camp in 1944.

Souvenir photo of George Ricks and friends in Times Square, New York

World War II

George Wesley Ricks

A small-town farmer from Cisco, Ricks documented his travels during the war through stunning photographs.

Don Griffis poses next to a dragon statue on the steps of the Hu?ng King Temple


Don Griffis

A marine from San Angelo, Griffis recorded his time in Vietnam with his camera.

Vietnam Vet Cap, Dog Tags, and Service Ribbons with a folded American Flag on top of a Camouflage Uniform


Mark Webb

Webb discusses the effects of anti-war sentiment and his identity as a Vietnam veteran.