Local veterans could write a book about their experiences—some did

YOURCOUNTY
Jim Baumgart  Sheboygan County Supervisor

As I write this column it’s Veterans Day. It’s a day set aside to remember and thank the countless people who served their country, who left family and friends, who went off during peacetime and in war.

Most soldiers who returned had their own experience and stories to tell although some were never given that chance; their stories will forever be lost in time.

While many of my fellow veterans volunteered to serve, I and countless others proudly served our county at the request of the President of United States - we were drafted.

It was at the very beginning of the Vietnam War, an engagement that would quickly expand and leave over 50,000 of our fellow citizen soldiers to die in the heat, hills, jungles and rice paddies of that far away land.

Our soldiers, in the youth of their lives, still go to war to save some special place but each time it seems that another conflict all too quickly takes its place.

As we thank our veterans and their families for the services given, now some begin to worry that we have treasury for war but increasing less for those back home.

I met Al Beinemann, a World War II veteran living at the nursing home where my motherin law was a resident a couple of years ago. He fought in three major battles in the European Theater as a member of the 83rd Infantry Division.

They included the Battle of the Bulge fought in the countries of Belgium and Luxembourg, and the battles of the Rhineland and the Central European Campaign in Germany.

To insure that he and his family would remember and have a record of the efforts of the American military, he wrote his own book called “Military Experiences in World War Two”.

He gave me a signed copy, a book I have read a number of times and again on this Veterans Day.

Although Al Beinemann passed away over a year ago, he has left a record that his family can be proud.

While I don’t think Beinemann provided copies to the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center, located at 518 Water Street, Sheboygan Falls (920-467-4667) , they do have an interesting selection of other books on area veterans.

If you get a chance, you may want to stop in and purchase one or more that meets your interest. It might make good reading on a future

Veterans Day. Here is a list of some of the books:

1. Echoes From Home, a civil war novel by Jim Carey, a local writer. It is a story of a soldier from the south.

2. Journal of a Spanish American Volunteer, by Elmer Koppelmann.

3. On the Home Front, how WW II changed civilian life in Sheboygan County. A book of pictures and stories taken from local newspapers.

4. One Soldier’s Story, the WW II memoirs of a Sheboygan County man by Arthur Kross.

5. Prisoner 19085, written by Sheboygan resident, Robert Matzner, as he tells his story of being a prisoner at Auschwitz during World War II.

6. Time in Hell - The battle for Buna on the Island of New Guinea, by Richard Stoelb.

7. The Ultimate Sacrifice, a list & collection of Sheboygan County World War II citizens who served their country by Elmer Koppelmann.

8. Waiting on DEROS, a Soldier’s Story, by Floyd Odekirk and Adrian Falchion, covering the Vietnam War period.

And don’t forget the sacrifices of others; husbands and wives, their children, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, grandparents and others.


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