Since the Second World War, the Netherlands armed forces have been deployed in conflicts and on missions in virtually all continents. Nearly 1,200 personal accounts of more than 1,000 veterans have been recorded on sound-recording media through the Veterans’ Institutes’ Netherlands Veterans Interview Project (IPNV).
These personal accounts provide a treasure trove of information. They give an insight into veterans’ perceptions, social relationships and the day-to-day work of a military mission. Personal experiences and the revisiting of those experiences can add an extra dimension to literature and archive material and thus increase knowledge of a war or peacekeeping mission. Moreover, the interviews deal not only with the mission itself, but also the preparation for it, after-care, the transition from serviceman or servicewoman to civilian and the impact military experiences might have on service personnel later in life.