Join us for an evening with local author Rick Vuyst as he shares his new book Operation Rumination. Rick will be joined by several local veterans from WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
This is a Free event. All ages welcome!
Seating at the event will be first-come first-served. This event will be a standing-room crowd, so if you require a seat for medical reasons, please contact us in advance to make arrangements.
About the Author
Rick Vuyst is host of the Flowerland show on NewsRadio WOOD 1300 and 106.9 FM and nationally on iHeart radio. Rick has also been the “Mr Green Thumb” for WZZM TV 13 the West Michigan ABC television affiliate for over 20 years. He is an author of two books, ‘I Just Wet My Plants’ based on his 25 years of experiences in broadcast radio and ‘Operation Rumination’ where he documents the stories of veterans and trains to meet the physical requirements of a 17-21 year old Army recruit. In addition to gardening Rick is a health enthusiast, avid runner and loves photography on the Lake Michigan shoreline.
About the Book
Statistics suggest that 7.3 percent of all living Americans have served or are currently serving in the military. Author Rick Vuyst delves into his own personal thoughts as one of the 92.7 percent who never served in the military. To understand better he spends a year with veterans listening to their stories. In the process he wrestles with the fact he never served and reflects on the freedoms he enjoys because of the service and sacrifice of others. Approaching the age of 60 he chooses a 2 mile stretch of beach to run, reflect, train and ruminate. The goal was to voluntarily engage in a personal "boot camp" of sorts to meet the physical fitness requirements of a 17-21 year old entering the Army (run, pushups, sit-ups). He corresponds with young men currently in boot camp that summer and visits with veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He ruminates on what he learns as he trains, often culminating in sit-ups and pushups next to a lighthouse on Pere Marquette beach Muskegon Michigan. He turns back the clock by capturing stories and changing physically, mentally, emotionally. Veterans are all around us in our daily lives but unless we hear their story in many cases those stories and lessons are lost. They pass by us just as a ship passes a lighthouse, except in this case they pass by us on the street, in the store, at church or at work in our daily lives. The veterans he comes across and visits inspire him, humble him, educate him, and challenge him. They in turn share with Rick thoughts they had stored away from experiences in the past. Many times he is told over the course of the year by veterans that he was "stirring up thoughts and memories long forgotten." Rick himself uses the physical training to help clear his own "brain fog" running to and from the lighthouse. The veterans he met with helped him experience the gamut of emotions as together they experience sorrow, joy, regret, laughter, tears, frustrations, accomplishment and more in the course of their conversations. Their stories are told in Rick's words in Operation Rumination. In the book's denouement Rick unties his thoughts and shares them with you. The common threads he found among the veterans, lessons of selfless service, and the results of his Army physical training test and how he got there, and settles his life-long regrets for having never served.