FREDERICK, Md. - The sound of silence filled U.S. Navy veteran Dan Snider's world when an IED exploded in Iraq.
"I pulled my hand away and saw the blood, and immediately it was very calming. I was telling myself over and over, mom, I'm coming home," Retired Engineman 3rd Class Snider said.
Shrapnel came point four millimeters away from hitting Snider's jugular vein. He thinks of his mother, who died of cancer a year earlier, as an angel helping him to stay alive.
"She was for sure looking out for me," Snider said.
Snider, who received a Purple Heart, and four other local veterans get to tell their stories thanks to a special student project at Frederick Community College.
"They take the interviews and they will submit them to the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. They will also take those interviews, transcribe them, and write narrative essays and them those to the Arizona Heritage Veteran's Project," said Kathryn Hansen, an adjunct professor who organized the project.
Raylee Peterson told Snider's story and says she learned a lot from him.
"It was interesting to hear firsthand what he had been through, and it made me realize that this really does happen," Peterson said. "You could see anyone because he's just a regular guy who walks around, so you could see anyone and realize that they may have been in the military and experience something like that."
The year was 1940 when Alfred Amato enlisted to serve the country in World War II. Now at 95 years old, he's serving the students at Frederick Community College as a professor and shared his story for the project.
"Next month I'll celebrate the 55th anniversary of my 40th birthday. It makes me very proud first off to be a part of it and secondly that this knowledge is going hopefully to the young people who are really not learning much about American history anymore," retired Staff Sgt. Amato said.
Amato isn't the only one who is appreciative to be able to share what life in the military is like.
"I'm just thankful for the opportunity at FCC to tell my story. Every veteran has a different tale to tell, and I got to tell mine," Snider said.
Frederick Community College is the only college outside of Arizona to submit stories to the Arizona Heritage Veteran's Project.