BREWSTER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Perhaps you could say Julia Morini has an old soul.

The 17-year-old Brewster High School senior is spending her time these days delving into the past by interviewing veterans.

“We’ll always have history books for everything to explain what happened and all the different accounts and everything, but we’ll never know what it was actually like to be there and to experience these different things,” Morini told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams. “These people know, and if we get their stories, then we’ll be able to know.”

Morini is videotaping veterans as a service project for her Girl Scout gold star, the equivalent of Eagle Scout.

What motivated her is rather personal.

“Both of my grandfathers served in the military and in wars, but they both died before I ever got a chance to talk to them or just for them to really tell any of us about what it was like for them,” Morini said. “So if we preserve these records, they won’t ever be forgotten. People can still hear the stories even after they’re gone.”

Morini was recently an intern with Putnam County’s Veterans Service Agency.

“I just don’t have words,” the agency’s director, Carl Rody, said of Morini. “She just really impressed me, even more of her character.”

Rody said for the World War II generation, time is of the essence.

“We had a World War II veteran a few years ago who was a Pearl Harbor survivor, and the county interviewed him,” Rody said. “Within two to three months of that interview, he started the early signs of Alzheimer’s, and all that history would have been lost, all his experiences.”

Morini’s interviews will be available at the library and Brewster High School so that future generations may learn.

“They’re amazing people to be able to give up so much to put their lives on the line for so many people who they’ve never met and for their country,” she said.

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