Story Lab Project

Video Highlights of Veterans and Active Duty Memories

The Digital History Story Lab Project provides veterans (and active duty military) from the CSUSM campus community with the opportunity to record their own stories in their own manner.  While most of the veterans have served recently, the project is open to all CSUSM campus veterans regardless of where or when they served.

All WAHA veterans and active duty service personnel use the Digital History lab to self-narrate their stories, emphasizing what they feel is important for the public to know and remember. This technique allows for narrators to be the authors of their own oral histories and for a plurality of voices to be documented.  Each participant is furnished with the training, equipment, and space to film their memories.

The majority of the posted video memories relate to the recent and current wars, reflecting the service history of our campus community of veterans.  With this inaugural focus on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, most of the story lab oral histories document these conflicts and their impact.  Preserving these histories is especially important given that the war in Afghanistan has become the longest military engagement in American history, and the tenth anniversary of the Iraq war is quickly approaching.  The results of the interviews demonstrate the nuanced experiences of modern military engagements and their larger effect on the CSUSM campus and its surrounding communities.

The WAHA digital archive will benefit future historical research and it serves as a means to inform the wider public of the experiences of a generation of Americans who have served the country during this critical era in history.  These are only highlights of much longer oral histories, which, beginning in spring of 2013 will be available to researchers in the CSUSM’s Kellogg Library.

The Story Lab Project commenced in November 2012.  Please check back regularly as more video highlights are posted.

If you are a CSUSM campus veteran (student, faculty, staff, or administrator) and would like to participate, please contact us at

WAHA is a project of CSUSM’s Department of History