Guardsmen share stories from Operation Iraqi Freedom
New York National Guardsmen share their overseas experiences at the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs. Our C.J. Spang has more on Saturday's Stories from the Sandbox program.
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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Wars may end - but the stories live on.
"I've noticed, the more you talk about it - the easier it gets," said Staff Sgt. Donald Leinfelder. "Especially if you lived with some of the stuff some of us have lived through and gone through while we were over there."
Seven New York National Guardsmen shared personal stories from when they served in Operation Iraqi Freedom in front of about 60 people Saturday at the New York State Military Museum as part of the Stories from the Sandbox program.
"It's very important that we put on programs that appeal to the general public, that help spread the word of the museum and to help tell the story of soldiers through all the 250-year history of New York," said Lance Ingmire, one of the event organizers.
"I think it's vitally important that we provide a forum for veterans to be together - a community of caring - so that they can have the opportunity to speak to one another and talk about their experiences," said Congressman Chris Gibson, who participated in the event.
Some of the Guardsmen say it's important for people to hear firsthand accounts about what happened overseas.
"I think they get a lot of news from the press and they don't get to see it on a personal level," said Lt. Col. Jamie Green. "To have a group of people come and give their insight into what they saw on the ground, I think that was important."
The interviews with the Guardsmen were taped and will be archived in the museum.