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This Man Is Working to Interview Every WWII Combat Veteran

One young man is traveling nationwide to keep the memories of World War II alive.

There are currently thousands of living World War II veterans across the Unites States, but it will not be this way for much longer. According to the VA, 362 of these heroes die every day. Not only do we mourn the loss of these men and women, but we mourn the loss of history. Who better to tell the stories of the Second World War than those who experienced it firsthand.

Twenty-year-old Rishi Sharma is racing against time to interview as many of these living combat veterans as he can. In just a four-year period alone, Sharma has managed to conduct 870 interviews in 45 U.S. states. Traveling and documenting these accounts has become his full-time job for the sake of both the preservation of history and personal interest.

Sharma took an interest in WWII as a child, and his passion grew from there. He explained, “to talk to a real-life superhero, who went through the definition of hell, I could just call them. That’s what hooked me. So, I started riding my bike to the local nursing home and I started interviewing all those veterans.”

The interviews are recorded, then made into a DVD for the Vet. Some have the desire to share their stories publicly, while others want to keep the DVD within the family. Several interviews have been shared on a YouTube page created by Sharma. Having these physical narratives will be extremely educational and fascinating for future generations, however, it doesn’t end there.

“It is really a cathartic opportunity for the veteran to get these emotions out before they pass. It is very lonely when you’re the only person with these thoughts in your head” said Sharma.

 Life on the road

Although the process has been fulfilling, it has not always been easy. Sharma began the journey with his own funds but has since created a non-profit, Heroes of the Second World War, to help support his mission. He has also established a GoFundMe to put towards his travel expenses. Despite the $180,000 raised, Sharma saves money whenever possible. He sleeps in his car and often survives off the most inexpensive food.

His efforts have not gone unnoticed. WWII veteran, and one of Sharma’s many interviewees, Herb Pike said, “to us fellows, it is one helluva nice thing he’s doing. Not letting the complete memory fade.”

Sources: Why a 20-year-old is trying to interview every Second World War combat Veteran

This 20-year-old wants to interview every WWII combat veteran he can before it’s too late

Veterans interested in applying for Social Security Disability or VA Disability Compensation with the help of Victory Disability should call 1-866-350-7229. To determine if you are eligible for SSDI benefits, complete our Social Security Disability Evaluation.