DICKINSON, N.D. — Members of the community gathered Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Dickinson Area Public Library to listen to the knowledge and experience of two veterans who served during the Vietnam War. This event was the kickoff to the NEA Big Read with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The panelists included author Anthony Bukoski and former Dickinson State University president and current employer support of the Guard and Reserve region chair Rich D. Brauhn. They responded to each question with clarity and a good measure of transparency and humor that kept the atmosphere lively and connected.

The audience consisted of students, historian enthusiasts and other veterans. They all gave respect to the panelists with a round of claps at the end and hopefully left with a perspective they didn't have before.

“I came for an assignment for my class, but I had a natural intrigue because i’m not from the States, so to hear about the Army and the veterans was really different,” DSU psychology major Luisa Popp said, “What I took away from it was (the panelists) learned disciple and gain a sense of brotherhood when serving.”

The event gave the public a chance to see war from a veteran's point of view.

“I think it's important to let people know that there are individuals in our community that, men and women who have sacrificed and given a lot in term of military service, that have taken an oath of allegiance to support the constitution, support the president and to protect the United States of America,” Brauhn said. “Being in the military is dangerous, even if you are not in a combat situation. We had people die in basic training You give up your life to the government for that period of time and even later on ... Its people who have given themselves that have really made it better for everybody, and I think it's important to pass that on, whether during war or a time of peace.”

Upcoming events of the NEA Big Read:

Friday-Saturday, Oct 25 and 26 - Noon at DSU, inside the Beck Auditorium in Klinefelter Hall, a theatrical reading of the play "ReEntry" (Viewer discretion advised.)

Saturday, Oct. 26 - 1 to 4 p.m., Dickinson Area Public Library will have a film presentation of “Good Morning Vietnam” with discussion. (Viewer discretion advised.)

Saturday, Nov. 2 - 12 to 3 p.m., DSU, inside the Beck Auditorium in Klinefelter Hall, film screening of “The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.” Part 1 and 2 (Viewer discretion advised.)

Wednesday, Nov. 6 - Noon at Stoxen Library, Global Table: Student Veterans, speech and discussion.

Thursday, Nov. 7 - 7 p.m., Books and Brews book club will meet at Deporres House of Barbering and Lounge (21+) Book: "The Things They Carried" by Tim O’Brien

Saturday, Nov. 9 - 12 to 3 p.m., DSU, inside the Beck Auditorium in Klinefelter Hall, film screening of “The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.” Part 3 and 4 (Viewer discretion advised.)

Monday, Nov. 11 - 11 a.m., DSU May Hall, Dorothy Stickney Auditorium, Dickinson Community Veterans Day Ceremony.

Saturday, Nov. 16 - 12 to 3 p.m., DSU, inside the Beck Auditorium in Klinefelter Hall, film screening of “The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.” Part 3 and 4 (Viewer discretion advised.)

Tuesday, Nov 19 - 7 to 9 p.m., DSU, inside the Beck Auditorium in Klinefelter Hall, Prairie Public Broadcasting presentation of “Basketball, Water and the Lost City of Elbowoods.” Screening and discussion.

Wednesday, Nov. 20 - Noon at Stoxen Library, Global Table: MHA Nations Veterans, speech and discussion.

Saturday, Nov. 2 3- 12 to 3 p.m., DSU, inside the Beck Auditorium in Klinefelter Hall, film screening of “The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.” Part 5 and 6 (Viewer discretion advised.)

Monday, Nov. 25 - 6 p.m., Dickinson Area Public Library, book discussion

Saturday, Nov. 30 - 12 to 3 p.m., DSU, inside the Beck Auditorium in Klinefelter Hall, film screening of “The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.” Part 7 and 8 (Viewer discretion advised.)

Thursday, Dec. 5 - 5 to 7 p.m., DSU, inside the Thompson Auditorium in Murphy Hall, Panel discussion, "War and Trauma: Soldiers and Civilians"