Niki Tsongas and the Veterans History Project

Joe Assenza served two tours in Iraq with the US Marines and likes remembering the small, seemingly inconsequential details of his time in and awaiting combat. Don Polsi drew number 25 in the draft lottery and was soon an Army artilleryman in Vietnam. Frank Hickey had a talent for music and ended up as a member of the Navy band on the USS Oriskany during the Korean War. All three of them spoke movingly today of their service and of their participation in the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress, a national effort to record and archive the story of American veterans of all wars and eras.

Jointly sponsored in Greater Lowell by Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, Middlesex Community College, and Lowell Telecommunications Corporation, the project has thus far captured the stories of fifteen Greater Lowell veterans. At today’s ceremony at MCC’s Federal Building, Congresswoman Tsongas presented these recordings to a delegation of MCC students who are bound for Washington, DC in the morning. Upon arrival they will personally deliver these recordings, including the stories of Joe, Don and Frank, to the Library of Congress.

The Veterans History Project is a critically important undertaking. We have all experienced after the loss of a friend or a loved one the regret of not having asked more questions about the decedent’s life. This is especially true when it comes to veterans, many of whom were eyewitnesses to and participants in some of the most crucial events in our country’s history. If you are a veteran or you know a veteran, please consider participating in this project so that your story will be preserved for those who come after us.

For more information or to get details on participating, contact Paul E. Corbett II, Congresswoman Tsongas’s Veteran and Military Caseworker/Outreach Coordinator at 11 Kearney Square, 3rd Floor, Lowell, MA 01852 – telephone 978.459.0101.

4 Responses to Niki Tsongas and the Veterans History Project

  1. DickH says:

    Bob Page produces a program on Lowell Telecommunications in which he interviews a local veteran in a one-on-one setting. I believe the show is called A Veteran’s Story. Dean Contover does a similar program in Chelmsford. I assume both Bob and Dean could submit (and may already be doing so) past and future recordings of their programs to the Veterans History Project although I’m not sure what additional requirements (specific releases of rights, for example), that this more formal program overseen by the Library of Congress might have.

    I have seen a Middlesex Community College produced program on LTC in which veterans are interviewed. I assume those interviews are the ones now being transported to Washington.

  2. Patrick Cook says:


    Thanks for the question regarding the VHP. Working with the Library of Congress, there is a very structured format to the videos that we submit. We have to adhere to certain guidelines, regarding content and duration. Veterans are able to include their own photos, or to be interviewed by a family member if they so desire. What we have done at Middlesex is provide students and/or staff who will conduct the interviews, as well as work the cameras at our partner, LTC. We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for the veterans to just have to show up and tell their story. If anyone is interested, you can contact MaryAnne Mungovan at MCC at 978-656-3267 or or Paul Corbett at Congresswoman Tsongas’ office at 978-459-0101. Hope that helps!

  3. Patrick J Wolfe says:

    Hi, I am trying to contact Frank Hickey for a grammer school reunion (Sacred Heart
    Grade School, Yonkers. New York , ’59.) in 2013 , April… any information on his address where he can be reached telephone, email etc.


    Pat wolfe