SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Preserving the past, a Sacramento group is collecting stories belonging to the Black men and women who’ve served our nation.

The group is on a mission to make sure their service will never be forgotten.

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Cynthia Gatlin is a proud veteran.

“Everybody that knows me knows that I was in the United States Air Force,” she said.

Though, she didn’t readily say so when she was younger. Gatlin served at the height of the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War.

This Natomas woman worked as a medic in the U.S. and later in Thailand. When she returned home, she faced backlash like her male counterparts.

“I can assure you that females who were discovered to have been over there, especially enlisted females, were treated even worse,” Gatlin said.

She eventually opened up about her experience. Then, she met Lisa Daniels.

“This is an important part of these veterans’ lives,” Daniels said.

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Daniels is the founder of the Unsung Heroes Living History Project. She collects oral history detailing the Black experience in the military.

Daniels also showcases pictures and uniforms — some are donated, some are on loan.

An exhibit is currently at the African American Museum and Library in Oakland.

Daniels’ interest piqued after a college assignment led her to the discovery of her grandmother’s untold past.

“Did I tell you that I was a tack welder and blueprint reader on the Franklin Roosevelt?” she said.

Rosie the Riveter was her grandmother.

As she delved into the past, others began sharing stories of their unsung heroes. Our own Courtney Dempsey’s grandmother was a welder during the Korean War. It’s a past not only worthy of being proud of, but being proud to share.

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“We should be in all of the history books, side by side, with all of the immigrants who have come to this country, have served it and have contributed,” Gatlin said.