The Forgotten Fight Oral History Project Interview Questions

These questions are a guide and roadmap for the interview. Not all questions will be asked. I follow the lead of the interviewee and what they feel comfortable discussing. What they talk about often times guides me to the next question; which may or may not be a variation of one of the following. Some of the questions will not pertain to every interviewee. Before an interview, the interviewee may review all questions and point out questions they are uncomfortable answering so I can avoid that topic and line of questions. They also may point out questions that they would really like to answer so that we can be sure to get to those.

 

  • What’s your name? Can you tell me about yourself, where you grew up, family life etc.?  If you didn’t grow up in Richmond, when did you move to the Richmond area and what brought you here?

 

  • Can you tell me a little bit about your life today? (Family, age, etc.)

 

  • When did you join the military? And what led to your decision to join the military? What did your family and friends think?

 

 

  • What was your training like? What do you remember most about your training / what were the most memorable moments?

 

  • What was your job in the military? How did you pick it? What did you find most/least challenging/interesting about it?

 

 

  • Tell me about where you were stationed? What experiences do you remember the most?
    1. Were you ever deployed? If so, what was your deployment like? (When were you there? Where were you stationed? What did you do? What moments stand out to you as defining your time there?)
    2. What was it like coming home from deployment?

 

  • Can you tell me about some of the most memorable experiences from your time in the military? Why do they stand out to you?

 

  • What are your most important memories of your deployment/military service? Are there things that you miss about being deployed/being active duty/etc.?

 

  • How did members of the community or your family respond to you after your deployment or military service? How did that make you feel? Are there specific moments that stand out to you?

 

  • What were your relationships like with other members of the military while you were in the service? Tell me about specific memories of people/events/etc. that are meaningful to you. Do you still keep in contact with any of them?

 

 

  • Why did you leave the military?

 

  • Do you think the experience of deployment or military service changed your worldview, relationships, attitude about the military, etc.?

 

  • What types of challenges have you faced since leaving the military?

 

  • Tell me about your experiences with the VA and other organizations that serve veterans. Did you ever use any of the services provided to you when exiting the military such as VA hospitals, the G.I Bill, Reserve Education Assistance, etc..?

 

  • How did you become homeless?

 

  • How did you become involved with Virginia Supportive Housing? how long have you been involved? When did you start using their programs? How does working with them compare to your experiences working with other organizations.

 

  • Tell me about the other places you’ve stayed since losing your home.

 

  • What’s the hardest thing about not having a home?

 

  • What is your daily life like now? Can you tell me a little about the things you do from day to day?
  • Do you have a person you talk to every day, or a person you would consider a close friend? Tell me about that person.

 

  • Is it easy to make friends in your current situation? Do you ever feel lonely?

 

  • What types of barriers do you feel like you face as a homeless veteran?

 

  • How do you feel that the fact that you are a homeless veteran shapes the way that others think about you?

 

  • What do you think civilians particularly don’t know about the experiences of veterans and homeless veterans in particular?  What do you think they should know?

 

  • Why do you think veterans become homeless?

 

  • How do you feel when people offer you charity? Are there any specific instances you remember? How do you feel about accepting charity?

 

  • What are you most proud of? Is there anything you regret?

 

  • Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience?