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They Did It for Honor: Stories of American WWII Veterans (WWII Legacies) (Volume 2) Paperback – August 18, 2017
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About the Author
Kayleen Reusser has interviewed hundreds of veterans of all eras beginning with World War II. She has had military stories published in magazines, newspapers and books. She is the wife and mother of US Air Force airmen. In 2014 she published World War II Legacies: Stories of Northeast Indiana Veterans. In her second volume, They Did It for Honor: Stories of American WWII Veterans, Reusser provides more personal details of the patriotism felt by those men and women who later came home and didn't want to talk about the war. In summer 2017 she and her husband participated in a 2-week World War II tour of Europe for research.
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Each chapter tells the story of one of the veterans, whether of a submariner or a man who flew over the Hump in Burma, a survivor of Pearl Harbor or a man who fought in the Aleutians to drive the Japanese out of U.S. territory. Reusser spends about 4-6 pages to tell the veteran's story, shows a photo of him or her during the war and a recent one, and shows a photo that goes along with that person's story. These photos are well chosen.
I learned some things I hadn't known, such as the Japanese invasion of the Aleutians. I appreciated the courage and the patriotism of the men and women who served. Reusser's efforts are keeping alive a valuable piece of history and a mindset. The book is good, not just for the elderly who can relate because they lived it, but also for all of us to see and remember the good parts of our history. I think the book would be especially helpful for young people to become acquainted with a mindset that has all but disappeared from our country--that our country has done worthy things and that ordinary men and women have put their lives on the line to defend the United States.
This collection of 34 stories comes complete with soldiers’ quotes, lots of photos, some preserved by the vets themselves, and enough details that you’ll feel you are right there in the foxhole with some of the men, or onboard a sub, or sinking a Nazi sub, freezing on the battle front, or liberating a Jewish prison camp. Some are powerful stories. Some cause you to laugh. By the end of the book, I guarantee you will feel proud of those who served. No soldiers’ life was like another, each have their own story to tell.
I strongly recommend this book, and not only for Indiana war history readers, but all interested in World War Two. And don’t forget Kayleen Reusser’s book one filled with additional war veteran stories.
World War II Legacies: Stories of Northeast Indiana Veterans
Working in library service, I can share that this book has been a great addition to our library's adult and local history collections. I would highly recommended it to other libraries and as a resource for teachers to create a living picture of American history and sacrifice.