From World War II to now, James Hutchinson has been serving people. He is an Eighth Army Air Corps B-17 veteran of 20 missions, he was a teacher for several years, and now he sells books he’s written regarding his experiences.
“I know that our stories are being forgotten,” Hutchinson said.
This Veterans Day, the 94-year-old war veteran and IU alum will share his experiences from 4:30-6 p.m. Nov. 11 at Stonecroft Health Campus. The event will kickstart Stonecroft’s Memories Matter Series.
For Hutchinson, this particular event and day at Stonecroft allows him to sell his books, tell his story and preserve the stories of many veterans who can't preserve their own.
In an effort to keep those stories in the public conscious, he has written six books with over 300 short stories about poverty before World War II, the war and life after retirement. The stories are about himself and other veterans, who told him their stories through interviews and diaries.
April Williams is the Stonecroft and Hearthstone senior community representative for Trilogy Health Services. She said part of the reason for organizing this event and remembering the past is that Stonecroft is a memory care campus, meaning for some of the community members, reflecting and hearing stories about the past are really important.
The event is open to all community members.
“I think this is an opportunity for the community to come together and learn about our history and our veterans and take pride for what they have done for our country,” Williams said.
Williams said it’s an honor to have Hutchinson, who has been recognized by many public officials for his service and preservation of history, speak at this event. Hutchinson said in an email he was honored before the Indiana General Assembly in 2008 and made Grand Marshal of the Bedford July 4 Parade by Mayor Shawna Girgis in 2015.
Hutchinson was presented Indiana's Ninth District Veterans Commendation, which was read into the Congressional record in 2015 and received the Sagamore of the Wabash in 2018. He also earned the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, which denote subsequent awards, as well as other campaign medals.
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