Fr. Daniel Hall, CSV, spent seven years in the Marines, including serving as chaplain for the 1st Marine Division during Operation Desert Storm. But he spent more than twice as many years as a teacher and coach at Saint Viator High School, mostly sharing his love of history in the Social Studies department.

His background came together, beginning in 2009, when he worked with fellow Social Studies teacher, Maureen Martin and communications specialist, Jim Mitchell, to create a series of books about different military conflicts, and the veterans who served in them.

What separated these books was the student involvement. Saint Viator High School students interviewed local veterans for each book and then wrote chapters for the respective books, sharing veterans’ stories.

This unique collaboration drew the three creators — Fr. Hall, Martin and Mitchell — a community service award from the Illinois State Genealogical Society, based in Springfield. Its mission is to preserve data about individuals living in Illinois and highlight the value of this historical preservation. Their award was announced last month at the organization’s annual meeting.

“Chaplains in the Storm”

Specifically, they were commended for “establishing a veterans’ stories project for their students, where their students connected with local veterans, learned best practices for oral history interviews and writing, and published those veteran stories in books. Over 80 students participated and four books have been published.”

– Arlington Heights’ Greatest Generation (2009)
– Lest We Forget : Arlington Heights’ Korean War Veterans (2011)
– Welcome Home : Arlington Heights’ Vietnam War Veterans (2013)
– Arlington Heights’ War on Terror (2021)

Ironically, this was not the first book Fr. Hall collaborated on. He was featured in the book, Chaplains in the Storm, published in 1991. The paperback offered reflections by chaplains in the First Marine Division in the Fleet Marine Force, stationed in the Pacific during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.