Four book signings scheduled during Vietnam Traveling Wall visit to Chehalis

Four book signing events will be held Saturday, Aug. 2, while the Vietnam Traveling Wall visits the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis.

The traveling wall will open at noon on Thursday, July 31, with a wreath-laying and will close at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3. The four authors at the book signings will be Major John L. Plaster, mystery writer J.A. Jance, Veterans Museum co-founder Lee Grimes and retired Master Chief Petty Officer Peter Slempa.

Plaster, a sniper expert, served three combat tours with the U.S. Army Special Forces during the Vietnam War. He cofounded a sniper school and wrote a training manual for snipers, a history of sharpshooting, and three books about a covert Studies and Observations Group.

Jance, a New York Times bestselling author from Seattle, will speak about her novel, “Second Watch,” which she wrote about her classmate Lt. Leonard Douglas Davis, who was killed in Vietnam Aug. 2, 1966. Davis’ fiancee, Bonnie Abney, will also be at the book signing.

Jance has written more than 40 novels and sold 10 million copies.

Grimes worked with local historian Julie McDonald Zander to write “The Miracle Museum,” about the birth of the Veterans Museum in Chehalis. All proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the museum.

Slempa, a member of the first Navy SEAL teams, served six tours in Vietnam as a provincial recon unit adviser, and achieved the rank of master chief petty officer, according to the museum.

Slempa shares stories in his book about life in the elite Sea, Air, Land squad formed January 1, 1962. He writes about falling two stories from a cruiser during a typhoon, hurtling four yards after being hit by a semi traveling 70 miles an hour and rupturing both eardrums when his two-man open cockpit submarine lost control and dove to 200 feet, the museum said.


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