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home : news : news Tuesday, January 16, 2018

7/15/2017 Email this articlePrint this article 
Free book available to 'in country' Viet vets
Limited copies offered at vets office in DeWitt; funds sought for more

By Kate Howes
Staff writer

The Commission of Veterans Affairs in Clinton County is sitting on several hundred books, produced in observance of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

And only in-country Vietnam veterans can help lighten their load.

Veterans services officers Ed Gaudet and Mike Osmun said they had 694 copies of "A Time to Honor," the Vietnam War 50th commemoration.

The books are available for free - but only to veterans in Clinton County who served in the country of Vietnam.

"They're often called 'boots-on-the-ground' veterans," Gaudet explained.

Osmun said there was a lot of support activity during the war that was performed by a number of military operations by way of water, air, and in other countries, such as Thailand and the Philippines.

But the books, which include photos and stories of the men and women who fulfilled their duty, are just for those who served on Vietnamese soil.

The Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs chose to buy the book as a gift to veterans.

However, they had only enough funding for a certain number of books for each county.

Those that were allotted to Clinton County have arrived, and Gaudet and Osmun are eager to give them to their rightful owners.

Veterans Services will ask for proof of service from veterans they don't know personally.

DVD included

"A Time to Honor," which gives a chronological account of the war, comes with a DVD that features interviews with veterans.

Osmun said he understood that among those who served, some choose not to relive or revisit that time in their lives.

However, this book is intended to pay homage to them and what they sacrificed for their country.

"It commemorates what took place," he noted.

The books are available at the Veterans Services office at the Clinton County Satellite Office, 226 11th St., DeWitt, or at the Clinton office, 1900 N. Third St.

The DeWitt office is open Wednesday mornings, Gaudet and Osmun said.

Veterans who wish to pick up a book are welcome to stop by; however, anyone who has questions or other veteran-related issues to discuss is encouraged to schedule an appointment.

They call Osmun at 563-212-9302.

Gaudet said the state commission was looking to obtain additional funds to buy more books.

But in the meantime, he and Osmun hope boots-on-the-ground veterans will claim their copies.

"We are just trying to get the word out," Osmun said. "We can't get the books out to these folks if they don't know about it."

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