In the Spring of 2009, financial consultant and Catalina Rotary Club member Irv Mindes heard one of his clients relate some hair-raising stories of his WWII experiences. Irv never would have guessed that his client, a very unassuming man, had made such sacrifices. Then Irv was struck with some questions: How many WWII veterans have never recorded their service stories? And could the Catalina Rotary Club somehow preserve these stories of sacrifice and service to inform and inspire current and future generations of Americans?
Irv brought his concerns to fellow Catalina member and professional video biographer Steve Pender. Together they hatched a plan to record, on video, the military and Rotary service stories of Catalina Club members. Their goal: To post copies of the interviews online, provide each vet with DVD copies of his interview, and to archive copies of the interviews with the Veterans History Project, run by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
Between 2009 and 2016, thanks to the approval and generous financial support of Catalina Rotary Club members, families, and friends, the military and Rotary service stories of seven WWII veterans and five post-WWII veterans were recorded and archived.