The Garden City Telegram is pleased to announce the release of its book “Called to Serve,” a tribute to past and present military veterans in southwest Kansas.

For those who reserved a copy of “Called to Serve,” which chronicles the sacrifices and experiences of more than 340 southwest Kansas veterans spanning World War II to the present, your books are now available to be picked up at The Telegram, 310 N. Seventh St. in Garden City.

For more than a year, The Telegram collected photos, stories, letters from the front, memorabilia and biographical information submitted by veterans, their families and historians from throughout the newspaper’s 12-county circulation area for use in the book. The newspaper has received guidance from a panel of southwest Kansas veterans, including Army veteran Jim Arwine of Garden City, husband and wife Army veterans Ray and Donna Hernandez of Garden City, Marine veteran Leonard Hitz of Garden City, Air Force veteran and former State Sen. Steve Morris of Hugoton, and Marine veteran William Royer of Syracuse.

Several area veterans’ stories, in their own words, are featured in the book. One can read about Garden City Army veteran Stewart Boone’s harrowing escape with the “Lucky Eleven” from the Battle of the Bulge during WWII, Garden City Air Force gunner John Hawk’s memories of his bomber being shot down over Austria in 1944 and the 11 months he spent in a German prison camp, and Garden City Naval officer Burl Loving’s recollections of sweeping mines in the Pacific during WWII.

Other features include re-published articles from past Telegram editions, including stories about local WWII veteran Perry Garten and Kansas National Guard Sgt. First Class Travis Bachman, who was killed by an improvised explosive device while serving in Iraq.

The 128-page hardbound book is selling for $39.95 plus tax, but supplies are limited.

To purchase a copy of “Called to Serve,” call The Telegram at (620) 275-8500 or (800) 475-8600, or stop by The Telegram office.