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Published: Friday, September 16, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Camano author’s book helping veterans with memory loss reconnect

Dan Koffman, 61, an artist, designer and marketer who lives on Camano Island, was featured in a story by Gale Fiege Aug. 24, "Picture book can jog veterans' memories."
Koffman wrote a book to help veterans suffering from dementia. The book is illustrated with iconic images such as boots and Jeeps.
He said the pictures in the book can help veterans remember their experiences.
Fiege wrote: "Dan Koffman likes to tell the story of one 92-year-old military veteran whose family got a copy of his latest picture book.
"The elderly gentleman, who served in North Africa during World War II, hadn't said much in years, owing in part to his dementia.
"The man saw the picture of a canteen in Koffman's book, 'Life in the U.S. Military: Images for Reflection and Reminiscence for Veterans with Memory Loss.'
" 'In that moment, his family recognized him,' Koffman said, 'because he lit up, laughed and started talking about how it was as hot as blue blazes in Egypt when he served there, and how he emptied his canteen while riding a stinky camel through the pyramids. His reaction was magic.' "
Koffman spoke about his book in San Antonio, Texas, where he met an audience of VFW auxiliary members at the national Veterans of Foreign Wars convention.
"I addressed 3,000 VFW representatives who enjoyed my presentation so much, they stopped by the booth afterward and over the next several days to see the book in the flesh, place orders and share stories," Koffman says. "The presentation obviously touched folks very deeply."
Veterans Hospital volunteers were beside themselves with excitement at the prospect of breaking through to many more patients, he said.
"The Los Angeles VA Hospital Program put 'Life in The U.S. Military' to work in all their locations."
He gave away free books to 45 of the 50 state VFW presidents. He said all indicated they would incorporate the book into their programs.
Koffman said most importantly, he hopes to help caregivers and families connect and communicate with their loved ones.
"We will not forget our veterans with memory loss," he says.
--
It's not often you can chow down in a library. Take a lunch when you watch "Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness," at noon Wednesday at Oak Harbor Library, 1000 SE Regatta Drive in Oak Harbor.
The PBS documentary is about communities taking action to fight hate. There will be a discussion following the film. Nationwide, it will be "Not In Our Town Week of Action."
--
Where could a city kid see how to milk a cow?
We're not talking about the electric milking machines seen by visitors at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe.
At Pioneer Days in Arlington, folks can watch a cow being milked, and they can also see crocheting, yarn spinning, water pumping and splitting shakes.
It's planned for 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Pioneer Hall, 20722 67th Ave. NE in Arlington. The Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers offer the program for free. Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum is open at the same time, costing $5 for adults and $2 for children.
For more information, go to www.stillymuseum.org or call 360-435-7289.
Kids might not even know that a product bought in a grocery store can be made on the front porch: Churning butter will also be demonstrated.
Kristi O'Harran: 425-339-3451; oharran@heraldnet.com.

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