November 10, 2010

SUNY Empire State College Students Participate in Library of Congress Veterans History Project

Veterans with Alan Davis

Student Andrew Davis, Linda Frank, director of Veteran and Military Education, President Alan Davis, student Ryan Smithson

(Saratoga Springs, N.Y. - Nov. 10, 2010) – SUNY Empire State College will be submitting recent interviews of Andrew Davis and Ryan Smithson, combat veterans and students of the college, as part of its participation with the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

“Our college honors and respects what our students have experienced in service to their country. By participation in projects such as the Library of Congress initiative, and by assessing for college credit what they have learned during their in their military careers, we endeavor to support our Veterans in their transition to a new era in their lives,” said college President Alan R. Davis.

Andrew Davis is director of Veterans Services for Saratoga County, New York. Davis was honorably discharged after serving six years in the United States Army as a non-commissioned officer. He is a two-war veteran, having served three combined tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq with the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life and the military was a good way to find that,” said Davis. “Joining was the best decision I ever made. I am what I am today because of it.”

Ryan Smithson is the author of “ Ghosts of War,” a compelling memoir of his experience in the military begun at the urging of a college professor that allows readers to march alongside him on his one-year stint in the Middle East, including Iraq.

“For me, I was fortunate to be able to write it down because I didn’t talk about it and wouldn’t talk about it,” said Smithson. “But I could write and that helped me to ease into the transition to home.”

“We are grateful to Andy and Ryan for their willingness to share their stories with us,” said Linda Frank, director of the college’s Office of Veteran and Military Education.

Davis and Smithson were interviewed at a recent college event, held at the New York State Military Museum and Veteran Research Center, where they read from their original works about their experiences in military service. These interviews will now be submitted to the Library of Congress.

To watch the interview of Davis click here. To watch the interview of Smithson click here.

About the Veterans History Project

According to the Veterans History Project website, “The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.”

For more information about the project follow this link.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor's and master's degrees from the State University of New York.

Students learn through independent studies, online courses, seminars and residencies. Learners also may earn credit for prior college-level learning from work and life experience. The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at 34 locations in New York state and online.

The college has served military students since its founding nearly 40 years ago. The college’s Office of Veteran and Military Education serves as a one-stop shop of information and resources for veterans and military students.

The college has again been named both a military-friendly and a veteran-friendly school by national publications.

For more information, visit


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