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Back After 49 Years

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Hewes Library at Monmouth College got back its book that was issued 49 years earlier.

John Carlson borrowed “Battles on the Monsoon: Campaigning in the Central Highlands” by S.L.A. Marshall from the Monmouth College library in 1972. It was due on Oct. 16 that year.The fine could have been astronomical but the library was just happy to finally get its book back.The south suburban resident dropped it off at the Hewes Library a few weeks ago.

Said Sarah Henderson, director of the Hewes Library: “He asked, ‘Do I owe any money?’ and I said, ‘You’re good. You’re good.’ We’re just happy to have the book back and that he decided it was time for it to come home.”

Carlson, who met his wife Lynette Johnson Carlson at Monmouth, was an ROTC student there. He’s always loved to read history, especially military history.

The book by S.L.A. Marshall was an Army historian was published in 1966.Marshall’s book chronicles small-unit combat actions in Vietnam. Carlson found the perspective of our early years of involvement in Vietnam found it fascinating

Carlson went on to serve in the U.S. Army for more than three years, then another 26 years in the Reserves. He retired as a lieutenant colonel before going on to work for Borg-Warner Automotive and Porter Athletic Equipment.

Said Carlson: “I took the book with me everywhere — to Fort Benning in Georgia and to Fort Sill in Oklahoma. I was actually reading it on the C-141 aircraft when I flew to Frankfurt. I was stationed in both West Germany and Luxembourg.”

Carlson, who now serves on the Monmouth College Alumni Board of Directors, recommends the book, now that other people at the college can finally check it out again after an absence of almost five decades.

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