BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Rishi Sharma travels across the country to tell the stories of every World War II veteran.
His nonprofit Heroes of the Second World War captures all of the stories at no cost to veterans. Sharma recently visited one Bella Vista retirement home to interview multiple World War II veterans.
“These men deserve to have someone listen to them and document what they went through and the sacrifices they made for our freedoms,” Sharma said.
Sharma lives in a car while he travels to different interviews.
“To cut costs I even live in the car full time when I’m on the road, and that’s just what I have, and it’s worth it for me because the stories are priceless,” Sharma said.
Sharma has now interviewed more than a thousand World War II veterans over the past five years. He started the project in high school after learning about veterans in books he read.
“This is just a big way of me saying thank you because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here, and I feel like I owe it to them to preserve and document what they went through,” Sharma said.
One of the veterans he interviewed in Bella Vista was 97-year-old Bob Troutt.
“He’s doing a great service, having all of these stories documented,” Troutt said.
Troutt said he hasn’t told his war stories to many, but now his experiences from serving will live forever, thanks to Sharma’s video.
“Mine is a minute part of that but I think if you can get it out to the people so they can really understand how we felt in World War II,” Troutt said.
Sharma’s said it’s Troutt and others’ dedication to service that inspires him to interview veterans every day.
“He’s a great example of what it means to contribute to your community, to put duty and country first,” Sharma said.
To learn more about Sharma’s nonprofit and how you can support the mission, visit his website.