04.05.2011 Story by Marti Yoshida FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. – The U.S. Army Engineer Regiment will host a book roll-out of “Engineers at War” with a presentation by Lt. Col. Adrian G. Traas from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., April 6, in Lincoln Hall Auditorium. The primary audience for the book roll-out will include military engineer students from Fort Leonard Wood, and the event is open to Veterans and the general public.
The book describes the experiences of military engineers who supported the U.S. Army in combat operations and carried out construction in a distant theater.
According to Dr. Larry D. Roberts, historian, United States Army Engineer School, “The last book of this size and significance came out in 1988 on the topic of WWII.”
“The importance of this work is several fold, first, it’s written by an experienced historian of the Mexican War. When you blend with that the fact that Lt. Col. Traas is a veteran of Vietnam, you are uniquely positioned to tell the story.”
Roberts claimed that the book will be good and frustrating to Vietnam veterans.
“Good in the sense that it documents an important time of their life, and frustrating in that Vietnam veterans will look for a mention of their unit, and may not find it.
“This was a massive project and what those who were there (in Vietnam) need to remember is that even in 600 pages, you can’t cover it all.
“Colonel Traas has done a superb job, and filled a major hole in the history of Engineers.
“There is still much to do, but we’ve taken a major step forward in documenting the history of the Engineer with Colonel Traas’ book.”
Roberts hopes that this will spur many Engineer Veterans from the Vietnam era to tell their stories mainly by putting their memories down on paper, tape recorder or computer, and then contacting people with whom they have served to encourage them to do the same.
“Collectively we can build an even fuller picture.
“History is a 50,000 piece puzzle. We’ll never get all of the pieces, but it’s imperative to get as many of the pieces as we can.
“Colonel Traas has filled a lot of the pieces of the puzzle with this book--now we need more Veterans to step up and add to that.”