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Dennis Mansker Short Bio

Identity Alert
Note: There are several other individuals out in the world using the name Dennis Mansker. This is who I am not: I am the Dennis Mansker who is a left-coast political activist, Vietnam veteran and author of A Bad Attitude: A Novel from the Vietnam War.

I was born in 1945 in Longview, Washington, the only surviving child of Everett Mansker and Maxine Vanderpool Mansker. Everett was born 14 June 1916 in Okay, Oklahoma, near Muskogee. He was the son of David Newton "Newt" Mansker and Arizona "Minnie" Kincaid (see photograph). "Newt" Mansker was the son of John S. Mansker. See Descendants Page for his ancestry back to Ludwig Mäintzger. The On the Web: Links to other Mansker/Minsker Web Sites Page has a link to my Ancestors Page at Broderbund's Family Tree Maker site.

My father was a bridge crane operator for the Long Bell Lumber Company in Longview for a number of years, but in early 1950, we moved from Longview to a dairy farm just north of Bristow, Oklahoma. I attended Thomas Edison Elementary School in Bristow from 1951 to 1955, when my family was forced into poverty by the agricultural policies of Ezra Taft Benson, Secretary of Agriculture in the Eisenhower Administration.

Consequently we moved back to the Pacific Northwest, first to a tiny place called Tenmile, Oregon, where we spent the winter of 1955-56, then to another small town, Mossyrock, Washington, where we lived from early 1956 to the spring of 1957, when we finally returned to Longview, Washington. My parents finally decided to settle down, and they spent the remainder of their lives there. My father died in 1984, my mother in 1988.

I graduated from R.A. Long High School in June, 1963 and attended two quarters at Longview's Lower Columbia College before dropping out. A couple of years of aimless drifting followed, until my first marriage in 1966 to Jacqueline Engebretson. Before our divorce nine years later, four children would be produced by this union: Sabrina, Robert, Cristina and Suzanne.

In May 1967 I was drafted into the Army. I suffered through basic training at Fort Lewis, Washington, and received my advanced training at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. After training, I was stationed at Fort Huachuca until May of 1968, when I shipped out for Vietnam. I was company clerk of the 543rd Transportation Company at Thu Duc from May to August, and then I was company clerk of the 151st Transportation Company at Long Binh from August until March of 1969, when I was discharged. My Vietnam experiences formed the basis for my first book, A Bad Attitude: A Novel from the Vietnam War. You can check it out on my Chairborne Ranger website.

Using the GI Bill and some part-time jobs, I returned to college and after getting an Associates Degree at Lower Columbia College and attending Portland State University, I finally received a BA in English in 1973 from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, (where I worked on The Western Front, the student newspaper, eventually working my way up to editor).

In 1976 I started to work at what was supposed to have been a nine-month job for the State of Washington Employment Security Department, and now, 30 years later, I am still with the agency. In 1985 I moved from Longview to Olympia, Washington, where I currently live. Susan Morris and I were married in 1987.

I'm throwing in all this background for anyone who is wondering: yes, I'm that Dennis Mansker. If you knew me in one of my "past lives", drop me an -- I'd love to hear from you.