Letters of appreciation for veterans from young teen
A 15-year-old Shanty Bay teenager is doing everything he can to preserve veterans' stories from the war.
For the past seven months, Jaxon Hekkenberg has been writing letters of appreciation for thousands of veterans across North America.
"I read a news article this summer or at the beginning of this year that said there weren't going to be any World war two veterans alive by 2045," he says. "I wanted to record all of their stories and give them my thanks for the freedom that we have today," he says.
Hekkenberg has recorded 30 to 40 interviews with veterans across Canada and the United States.
Between 1,500 to 2,000 letters have been written, with veterans sharing their stories of war. Recently, Hekkenberg says he met a Juno Beach veteran who enlisted at 15 years old, the same age that he is now.
"I have no idea how the men and women did this at such young ages, like some of them younger than me," he says.
As for what's next, Hekkenberg has plans to start a YouTube channel or website. He also has plans to create a documentary on Indigenous soldiers during WWII or about Omaha Beach. He hopes to get to a point where people will reach out to him with contacts.
"If we don't remember them and the veterans die, all of their stories will be gone with them," Hekkenberg says.
If you'd like to contact Hekkenberg with a veteran's story, he can be reached by email.