Mason man finishes trilogy of books about area veterans

  • Ron Dube of Mason has concluded his series of books about veterans with “Vietnam: A Collection of War Stories from Nashua Area Veterans.” Photo By Toby Theodore

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/12/2019 6:15:43 PM
Modified: 4/12/2019 6:15:33 PM

Ron Dube of Mason has concluded his series of books about veterans with “Vietnam: A Collection of War Stories from Nashua Area Veterans.”

Dube self-published the book in 2017.

“It’s the last in a trilogy of interviews that I did with Nashua area veterans,” the 76-year-old Dube said. “The first one was World War II, the second one was Korea and this is the last one, Vietnam.”

By the “Nashua area” Dube means the former coverage area of the Nashua Telegraph. This area included Salem, Derry through Nashua all the way to Jaffrey and Rindge. The retired teacher had also been a newspaper correspondent for the Monadnock Ledger as well as the Nashua Telegraph back in the 1980s. So that is how Dube determined the area he would canvas for veterans.

“That was the area that the Telegraph covered at the time,” Dube said. “It started in 1984. I was working for the Nashua Telegraph part-time and President Ronald Reagan was making a big deal out of visiting the D-Day beaches for the 40th anniversary.”

So Dube asked the editor at the time if the paper could interview some D-Day veterans leading up to the anniversary of D-Day.

This led to a series of articles, which continued when Dube pursued more veterans to cover the final days of WWII.

“World War II didn’t end with D-Day,” Dube said, adding he wanted to follow it through to the end of that war. “So I interviewed a bunch more World War II veterans who were involved with major events from D-Day on to the end of the war, both in the Atlantic and Pacific regions, and it included airmen, seamen, soldiers, medics, clerics, nurses.”

Around 2010, Dube decided to interview more WWII veterans and turned his interviews into a book.

“So I thought, why stop there. So I went on to Korea,” Dube said.

At this point, he was retired from teaching so he quickly completed that book within a few years.

“After that came Vietnam. Vietnam was probably easiest cause I knew a lot of people who went. It was my peer group and some of them didn’t want to talk to me, quite a few did and they are in the book.”

Dube himself didn’t serve in Vietnam. He served in the Peace Corps. in Niger, west Africa from 1964 to 1966. After that he signed up for the New Hampshire National Guard. He was sent home from training, however, due to a pre-existing medical condition and went on to teach full-time for 40 years.

While each book follows the same format, essentially giving each subject a mini-biography and narrative of war experiences, Dube said the writing the Vietnam book was harder since he knew many of the veterans.

“They needed to be told, and remembered,” Dube said of the stories, “And it was a way for a few of them to vent. I think a few of them felt better after telling their stories.”

Some that he had known growing up in Nashua had been killed in action. He was able to include these veterans through his own remembrances and through interviews family members.

Dube said he also saw a progression in how the veterans viewed the war they fought in.

Word War II veterans said they went “to keep the country free from domination.”

“Korea was kind of mixed,” Dube said, with veterans saying they went because their country asked it of them, but when they looked back they thought it was “a waste.”

Interviewing the Vietnam veterans just confirmed, what Dube had already felt about the war when most of them said they felt it had been a waste of time, money and more importantly lives.

Dube can be reached at (603) 878-1765.


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