The Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs and the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs are honoring Iowa’s Vietnam veterans by offering a free copy of the book, “Vietnam War 50th Commemoration — A Time To Honor.”
The opportunity to offer the book to Iowa’s Vietnam War veterans was made possible through state money as well as support and donations from citizens across the state.
“If you served in Vietnam, the Lyon County Veterans Affairs office would like to give you ‘A Time to Honor’ to commemorate the service you gave to the country in Vietnam,” said Jared Ageson, director at the Lyon County Veterans Affairs office.
The book is a special Iowa edition, including extra pages at the beginning pertaining specifically to Iowa and its Vietnam War veterans. “It welcomes Iowa veterans home, talks a little bit about Iowa and what roles Iowans played and how many people served,” explained Ageson.
The book also includes the names of the Iowa Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipients and a picture and information about the Iowa Vietnam Memorial at the State Capitol in Des Moines.
Veterans who would like to pick up their free copy of the book should bring proof of service when they stop by the Lyon County Veterans Affairs office at 300 S. Fourth Ave. in Rock Rapids. Office hours are Monday and Wednesday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Friday from 8a.m.-12 noon. Books are also available to next-of-kin of service members who served in Vietnam.
Ageson said that, for now, books are only available to those veterans who actually served in Vietnam, but he said the state is still actively trying to raise more funding so it can offer the book to every Vietnam era veteran.
“The book itself is stories from service members who served in Vietnam or during the Vietnam era. It’s stories from actual service members, not the history of the war as explained by the government or anything like that,” explained Ageson.
The Lyon County Veterans Affairs office received its shipment of the books about a week ago, and Ageson said five Vietnam vets have come in and picked up a copy so far.