Book honoring Manila Veterans completed
Hundreds of Manila area veterans are honored in a book by Donna Brewer Jackson, author/local historian. The 96 page hardback book featuring 150 photographs will be ready for its debut at the Manila Chili Cook-off on Oct. 5. The book will also be available at Delta Drug in Manila.
Author Donna Jackson has been working on the book titled "A History of Manila, Arkansas Veterans -- Generations of Service, for over three years. She has interviewed many of the featured veterans, gathered questionnaires and photographs, made contacts with family members, and researched available records in an effort to include as many Manila veterans as she could.
Starting with the Civil War to present military men and women serving are included in this keepsake book filled with information on Manila area veterans. The personal interviews will give readers an insight to war as it really happened told by the soldiers who experienced it.
Jackson has had other books published, including Manila Centennial : 1901-2001 and Milligan Ridge: The Development and Decline of a Twentieth Century Farming Community, 1920-1962, a history of the Milligan Ridge Community.
"This book is about our local heroes," Jackson said. "The book is not only a way I can honor them, but a way to preserve the history they represent."
In her research she found both Union and Confederate veterans buried in Manila Cemetery. She spent many hours researching the service of veterans and expressed her appreciation to family members and veterans who submitted information and granted her personal interviews.
She also expressed her gratitude to local veterans Skip Evans and J.C. Green who helped gather information.
The book includes Manila veterans from the Civil War; World War I, World War II, Korean War, years 1954-1964; Vietnam 1965-1975; and 1976 to present.
It was not an easy project to pursue but Jackson devoted a lot of hours in her efforts to make personal contacts with as many veterans or their family members, and research as much information as she could find before the deadline.
"I realize I do not have a list of all of the Manila veterans," Jackson said. "I am sure there are hundreds of more veterans I just did not know about."
Jackson's book is dedicated to members of her family who paid the ultimate price, Seaman Ist Class Dencil J. McIntosh, US Navy, killed in action Dec. 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor; Private 1st Class John R. Schmitt, Jr. US Army, killed in Action July 12, 1944, Normandy; and 1st Lieutenant Tyler E. Parten, US Army, killed in Action Sept. 10, 2009, Afghanistan.
She also made a dedication to two of her heroes, Chief Petty Officer Ches Cooper, US Navy, World War II, Pacific Theater (USS Carter Hall); and Private 1st Class J.D. Forsythe, US Army 106th Infantry Division World War II: German Prisoner of War.
The Manila Veteran's book was not done to make a profit but out of the true respect Jackson has for the men and women who have served their country -- some giving their all. The price of the book will go go cover the publishing and printing expenses.
Jackson has lived in Manila most of her adult life. She is married to Loy Jackson and they have three children, and five grandchildren.