A collection of stories related to dozens of veterans from throughout Central Missouri, spanning the Civil War to the Vietnam and Cold wars, makes up the latest offering from local author and historian Jeremy Amick.
Amick said "Central Missouri at War" is the most extensive book he has written.
"I started with Jefferson City and Cole County and did biographies about specific individuals, but this book covers several stories from people in Moniteau, Osage, Miller, Gasconade, Callaway and Cooper counties," Amick said. "I worked on this for three years."
Some of the older stories go back to the Battle of Cole Camp in the Civil War and veterans who served in the Spanish-American War.
"Some of the stories feature people from articles that have been printed in the News Tribune, and some have never been seen before," Amick said.
If there was a problem for Amick in putting this book together, it was trying to determine where he should stop.
"I'd start building a chapter and put stories in and ended up with 100 pages," Amick said. "When it was all said and done, I had 548 pages and I still had several dozen stories I could have put in.
"Next year, I plan to do a book on the military history of the whole state. It will be timely with the Missouri's bicentennial coming up. When I first held this one in my hand I thought it was 'War and Peace,' but the Missouri one will probably be thicker."
With every interview he does, Amick said, there is one common thread among the veterans — humility.
"These individuals were in a specific place and time and did what they thought was best for their country, many in some fast-moving circumstances," Amick said.
Of the many veterans featured in the book, a couple stand out to Amick.
"Eugene Early Amick Jr., who was a distant relative from Boonville and killed in World War II," Amick said. "He even had a ship named after him, the USS Amick, which was decommissioned long ago. I spoke to his younger sister, and it's a fascinating story."
One of the last stories focuses on a veteran from Jamestown who was the commander of a Minute Man II missile crew.
"Growing up, I remember we had the missile sties in Clarksburg, High Point and all over the area," Amick said. "That Russian threat and how they were to be the deterrent has always been something that's fascinated me."
"Central Missouri at War" is available to purchase online through Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Locally, copies of the book are available at Samuel's Tuxedos and Gifts on East High Street, Downtown Books II at Capital Mall and Community Point Bank in Russellville.
Amick's first book signing will be 5-7 p.m. Friday at the Roscoe Enloe American Legion Post 5 at 1423 Tanner Bridge Road in Jefferson City.
"I think the books I've done have shown that not all our heroes are Gen. Pershing; there are many of them right in our own backyard," Amick said. "They live among us, and it's fun to beat the bushes and show people they're living in our communities."