Chesterton Tribune

Battle of the Bulge veterans and author at Historical Society meeting

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Ed Pratt, William Tuley, Ed Veden and John Trowbridge, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, were in the audience on Thursday, November 17 when Barry J. Veden told the Duneland Historical Society about his book: My Heroes, The Men of Northern Indiana Chapter XXX Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge.

The author told of attending a dinner meeting of Chapter XXX Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge in Michigan City with his father in December, 1997 on the anniversary of the beginning of the battle. He was so impressed with what those veterans had done that he began to interview them and My Heroes, published in 2004 by BookSurge, LLC, was the result.

He recalled being a member of the first Writing Your Memoirs class at the Westchester Public Library in 1990 and said he never expected to write a book. He is now an associate member of Chapter XXX and editor of the newsletter: Bulge Battle News.

Stories from thirty Northern Indiana veterans are included in the book. For some it was difficult to talk about their experiences that cold winter and Veden did not press for more details. Two asked him to leave out some details after they read the written story.

The battle began on December 16, 1944 and lasted for 41 days. It was called the Battle of the Bulge because of a bulge in the American lines.

When asked, the veterans said the name was used almost immediately when reporters talking to Gen. Eisenhower heard the description of the American lines.

Chapter XXX was organized in 1993 at the urging of Stew McDonnell with 25 members. It now has 100 members and associate members and meets quarterly in Michigan City.

Veteran Tuley told the story of two women who are associate members because they are sister and niece of Sol Kokotovich of Gary who was killed on the eve of the battle and hastily buried by his comrades. His body was discovered in 2001 by a farmer and given a military burial attended by one thousand Belgians along with honor guards from Belgium, United States and Germany.

Duneland Historical Society officers for 2006 were elected.

They are president, Nancy Hokanson; first vice president, Eva Hopkins; second vice president, Joan Costello; treasurer, Marilyn Cook; secretary, Dorothy Meyers; board members, Ascher Yates, Bertha Still, Jane Walsh-Brown, Nancy Vaillancourt, Betty Canright, Ken Keller, Audrey Lipinski and Rita Newman.

The next meeting will be February 16, 2006 when the program will be “The History of the Brown Mansion and its Families” presented by Jane Walsh-Brown and Eva Hopkins.

 

Posted 11/22/2005