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Calling Military Veterans
by The Ovi Team
2008-01-22 09:56:25
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Hello. My name is Kyle Nappi. I am 17-years-old and I live in Ostrander, Ohio (USA). I am a junior at Buckeye Valley High School in Delaware, Ohio. I was wondering if you could do me a favor.

I have a big interest in history, specifically WWII. I collect military medals, patches, badges, insignia, field gear, and a very unique thing, veteran autographs. I have a scrapbook collection of autographs from military veterans who served during WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, and the present war in Iraq.

I have been interested in history for over five years now, and I have collected the autographs and stories from nearly 1,600 veterans in 20 countries. The oldest veteran was 111 years old and the youngest is presently serving in Iraq.

I have autographs from Pearl Harbor survivors, D-Day veterans, airman, POWs, USS Indianapolis survivors, Holocaust survivors, and even German soldiers!

I personally believe that war history is an interesting subject, and one worth the time to study. It is a shame when people, especially my age, have no idea about the events of the past. When we were watching the Omaha Beach scene on Saving Private Ryan in my social studies class and one my classmates asked the teacher if we were fighting the Japanese!

I have recently begun branching out to the German side of WWII and it is a very interesting subject. I have contacted U-Boat captains, Panzer Tank Commanders, Luftwaffe Aces, Conspirators within the Third Reich, and the last people to see Hitler alive in the bunker in Berlin. Some of them were younger than I am when they were being ordered to fight until the last man!

Two years ago, I was able to fly in a B-17, and a WWII POW was one of the other passengers!

I have also been to Washington D.C., and was able to see all of the war memorials. It was a great trip, because I had the honor of laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, VA.

I have also had the privilege of visiting the Wilson’s Creek battlefield, outside of Springfield Missouri. It was one of the first battles of the Civil War, in which the first Union general was killed since the war of 1812.

Recently, I have been trying to contact the last surviving veterans of WWI. There are only 19 alive, worldwide, and I have autographs from 22 of them (12 now deceased, 10 currently alive). I was trying to find one in particular who lives in a nursing home in Italy. I came across an article about him and I wrote to the columnist of the article, asking how I could contact the WWI veteran. He gave me his address and printed an article about my collection of autographs…in their Italian newspaper!

Below is the questionnaire that I always send to the veterans that I contact. If you are able to contact any military veterans, would you mind to provide them with a copy of my questionnaire? If they could receive a copy of my questionnaire, answer the questions, autograph it, and mail it to my for my collection, I would really appreciate it.

Again, if you could put me in touch with any military veterans, I would really appreciate it. Please let me know if this is possible.

My main purpose for writing is to share with you that people from our generation do remember the past and the sacrifices that were made for our great country. I would greatly appreciate it if you could pass the word around that there are people who remember.

Thank you very much for your time.


Kyle Nappi

Download the short questionnaire here (Word document)

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Asa2008-01-22 09:58:35
I'll send the questions to my Grandad.

Interesting hobby - keep up the good work.

Sand2008-01-22 12:12:17
I'm a WWII veteran but did nothing worth talking about.

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