Manila veteran book still underway
A book honoring Manila veterans is still underway. Donna Jackson, local historian, has been gathering information and pictures from veterans and family members of veterans to be compiled in the book.
Jackson knew the project would take some time and she appreciates the help she has received from Skip Evans, J.C. Green, Barbara Lasater, Shirley Peyton, and Garry Jolliff.
Lasater and Peyton are working creating a map with pictures of all of the headstones in the Manila cemetery. Many of the headstones have veteran stones.
"So many came home from war and really did not want to talk about it," Jackson said. "Time has passed and a lot of World War II veterans are ready to share their experiences."
Jackson prepared a questionnaire and veterans can give as much information as they want or just their names, what branch and when they served.
This is not something she is doing for profit; it is something she wants to do to preserve history and honor men and women who have served their country.
Jackson said it is not easy to get information. She has extensively researched all of the census, draft registers, casualty records and much more.
"There are thousands of names and just because they registered for the military does not necessarily mean they served," she said.
She has found some very interesting information through her research. She found a Lt. Ivan Brown from Manila who was lost at sea in 1943 listed in some of the archives.
"I have always been interested in the men and women who served in the military," she said. "I was watching war movies because I wanted to learn more of the history of the different battles."
She also found a book, The Devil's Tale, written by Zig Boroughs about the World World II Division he served in and the battles. In the book he mentioned Donald Veach who was part of the division. Jackson got online and found a book and purchased it.
"This is our local history, our local people and I was so glad to be able to purchase the book," Jackson said.
Jackson's heart is in the Veterans' book project and she urges anyone from Manila or natives of Manila who have served in the military to submit a picture and information for the book.
"I had several friends from high school who served in Vietnam," she said. "Some of the veterans have told me the real heroes are the ones who did not come home. But anyone who was willing to serve, if they volunteered or were drafted, deserve recognition for their service."
The deadline is Dec. 31. She is hoping to have the book ready for publication by the fall of 2012.
For more information on the book, contact Ms. Jackson. Forms are available at Delta Drug in Manila. or she can email questionnaires if needed. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the book, Jackson has filmed several World War II veterans and plans to submit them to Arkansas Educational Television Network program "In their own Words."
"It is a great program and it is a way to preserve history firsthand," she said.
She would like to have all Manila veterans recognized in the book and again invites them to turn in their names.