I don't like writing about these types of subjects because it takes away from the historical projects I'm constantly working on, and then turns me into the topic of discussion/controversy.
Sometime around 1998, I set up the Manning Veterans' web page. Over the years I kept adding names as I found them or someone provided me with information about a Veteran. I was so glad that I had been gathering pictures and information for nearly 30 years at that time so I could list a very unique database of military personnel connected to Manning, going way back to the War of 1812.
By the time I set up the web page, I think all of the Manning WWI Veterans were deceased, but there were quite a few WWII Veterans living...so I concentrated on the WWI and WWII Veterans, while there were still people living who could help me with these 2 generations of Veterans.
This forced me to have to side-track the younger generation Veterans while working on the older military history.
Now there are very few WWII Manning Veterans living and I still need to sit down with a couple of them.
Sadly, during the time-period I was concentrating on WWI & WWI, we started losing Korean and even some Vietnam Veterans.
Time waits for no one!
happened that I had not expected...many of the post-WWII Veterans seemed to just fade away and had little if any interest
in sharing their military story and pictures.
While many of them eventually will work with me if I contact them directly, only a few of them have come forward on their own.
There are a couple of exceptions...I've had several different Veterans post a message for my guestbook and wonder why they are not included in the Manning Vets.
I always respond and first ask them if they are referring to the Manning Veterans Memorial Wall, which I have no direct involvement - other than I show the list of names featured on that wall.
I also inform them about my Manning Veterans' web page which sometimes I did have their name and if it didn't, it was because no one had informed me that person is a Veteran.
Here are 2 examples of confusing questions that were left for my guestbook. I have no idea if they were referring to the Memorial Wall or the Manning Veterans'
history book project I've been working on officially since 2009 and unofficially with my web pages since 1998.
In every case, I have never had a response back as to which project they were referring to, or the steps I gave them to get included.
Just wondering how to be recognized for 6 years of service to our country?
Just wondering why my name and my classmate's name were not included in manning vets? We both served honorably from 1968 to 1971 in USMC.
One misconception about the Memorial Wall is that each name plaque was actually paid for by the Veteran or a family member...they are not free!
Another huge misconception about the Veterans' history book project is that if a Veteran's name is not listed that I intentionally left it off...like I had something against that Veteran or didn't feel they should be honored in the book.
I challenge anyone to take on a project of over 1000 individuals and try to find pictures and information about them going back to the early 1800s and not end up still having an incomplete list, even though I've come up with 1000+ Manning Veterans to date.
The Memorial Wall project was mostly accomplished by volunteer workers, and money was raised/donated to pay for some of the commercial work.
The Manning Veterans' history book project is all volunteer (mostly me), and completely at my own expense.
I have been raising some money for this project and there have been some donations which are in a special bank account for the publication of a book someday, but I receive no compensation or reimbursement.
I need to make this VERY CLEAR, so people don't believe I'm profiting from this historical work.
Below is just one of thousands of examples of military pictures that I've scanned over the years that I have no idea who they are. This picture came from the Lamp collection I'm working on right now - Herman and Gerhardt both served overseas during WWI and I assume these are some of their buddies they got to know - OR are they Manning boys they trained with at boot camp?
This is what I'm trying to prevent from happening in the future for Manning Veterans from Korea to present day military personnel,
where someone someday will look at pictures from Korea, Vietnam,
and all of the other modern era Veterans and ask - "who are they?" Where did this Manning Veteran serve, etc?
So again, I put out my plea to all Korea to present day Manning connected Veterans - don't let your pictures and military story slowly fall into the dust heap of history.