Its an ongoing learning process for Aldea M. LaParr as she compiles stories of the 10th Mountain Division.
The Lowville resident has published two editions of her book, Tribute to Our 10th Mountain Division Soldier, and has a third one due out next year for which she is collecting material.
Despite growing up in a military family, she admits to having been a bit out of her comfort zone when she first applied to be webmaster for the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division in 2008. I had no idea what it was, Ms. LaParr said. I was just hoping to get the job.
She now publishes an e-book with personal stories of 10th Mountain Division veterans in Italy during World War II, a project that continues to grow.
Ms. LaParr said the first edition of the book, released in 2012, was essentially a collection of historic photos. Thats all we had to work with, she said.
The books second edition, with profiles of more than 100 division veterans, was released in October. The next editions release coincides with the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. In the upcoming version, she plans to link past images of division veterans and update their current status.
Reaching out to veterans and their families and learning their stories for the new edition has been a whirlwind of emotions, she said. The process requires many extra hours beyond her business, Dees Desktop. Its a dedication to the project, she said.
Being close to Fort Drum makes her work with division veterans even more special, Ms. LaParr said.
Lessons and stories of the past can benefit todays soldiers, she said. If it wasnt for what happened in 1945, they may not be here today, she said.
More information about the book and about submitting material for the new edition can be found at http://tributetothe10th.com. A portion of the books proceeds goes to the 10th Mountain Division Descendants Inc.