CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Since 2005, the Kiwanis Club of Clarksville has published two volumes of its popular “Faces of Valor” series, featuring the names and pictures of more than 600 local veterans, dating all the way back to the Revolutionary War. Those two books represent years of hard work, but for a community like Clarksville, with such a strong connection to the military, Kiwanis Club members knew there were just skimming the surface.
That’s why the organization contacted the Austin Peay State University Department of History and Philosophy, and last spring, students of APSU adjunct history instructor Naomi Rendina’s History 2020 class set out to find more veterans and record their stories. Earlier this month, the class published “Faces of Valor: Volume 3,” featuring almost 400 new entries.
“It was a service-learning class, and it was a great way to make history come alive and show the students how history affects their lives,” Rendina said.
The course, one of the many service-learning classes offered by the University, had students talking with local historians and meeting veterans interested in sharing their stories.
“We did two collection days at the public library, where people came and filled out a basic form and attached a military release form,” Rendina said. “The collection days were a really good learning experience because these students got to sit down and talk with these veterans. And these veterans experienced moments in history that no text book could offer.”
In addition to meeting with veterans, county historian Eleanor Williams provided the students with the names of Montgomery County residents who served in such wars as the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Spanish-American War. They wrote introductions summarizing each conflict and describing what was happing in Tennessee at that time. Then the students designed the book, using a cover image created by APSU art student Arial Davis, and sent it to Jostens Printing, which printed “Faces of Valor: Volume 3” for free. The new book, available through the Kiwanis Club, is both a local history and a means of honoring the area’s veterans.
According to an introduction by the Kiwanis Club of Clarksville, “These booklets express the debt of gratitude this community and our nation owes to those who have served in the armed forces and who have contributed to our freedom.”
For more information, contact Rendina at firstname.lastname@example.org.