Brewery owner seeks veterans’ stories

Roger Brown said he’s been fascinated with the stories of veterans ever since discovering letters several years ago from his grandfather who served in World War I.

The owner of the Iowa River Brewing Company feels it’s important for stories from living veterans to live on into the future.

Brown is inviting local veterans to tell their story in front of a video camera and the public at his brewery on a regular basis.

“We’ve got people from every generation who have agreed to do this,” he said. “I think there’s a huge interest for people to have that chance to connect with others and see what they’ve gone through. It’s a chance to get that personal connection with somebody who is real.”

World War II veteran Laurel Phipps will be the first to tell his story at 2 p.m. Sunday at the brewery, with the public welcome. Donations will be accepted at the bar to go to local veterans groups.

Brown said at some point he plans to compile all the stories into a DVD. Years ago, he worked on a book which he did not finish that tells the stories of veterans including their letters from war.

“I think it’s a neat way to finish that original project,” Brown said. “We’ve had some comments on Facebook and people think it’s a great idea.”

With more and more World War II veterans passing away each day, Brown said it’s important to get these stories documented for the future.

“It’s also a way to say thanks to these veterans,” Brown said.

The brewery is located at 107 N. First St. For more information or to give Brown some ideas for veterans to interview, call him at 641-751-2848.