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Of War & Weddings; A Legacy of Two Fathers Paperback – February 18, 2009
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If this was simply a memoir about his time in combat, it would be an excellent book for anyone interested in aviation history. But the book is much more than that, as the author recounts his life post-war and the PTSD he endured for 30 years. Perhaps the most powerful scene is where he visits the family of his best friend, who was the last pilot to die in the war.
He reluctantly went to Japan on a business trip some 40 years after the war, still hating Japan and the Japanese people, and fell in love with them. He and his wife were so entranced with Japan that they gave their son a trip to Japan as a college graduation gift. And in Japan, their son met the love of his life, a Japanese girl, daughter of an enemy fighter pilot.
The best part of this narrative is where he meets his son's future father-in-law, who for over 40 years had hated Americans, and was steadfastly against his daughter marrying a "gaijin". And the two former enemies willingly become friends and, more important, family.
I definitely recommend this book!
Jerry Yellin was a captain and fighter pilot going on many missions throughout the Pacific and over Japan. He is the last fighter pilot to fly a combat mission as the war was coming to a close.
When his youngest son decides to move to Japan, the door begins to open on pushed down memories and emotions that Mr. Yellin eventually, bravely, digs into, shares, and overcomes.
This journey includes multiple trips to Japan with his much-loved wife, Helene, as they explore their son’s adopted country and meet his fiancé. Along with meeting her is the all encompassing gathering of family and friends. The honesty in the conversations Mr. Yellin has with the Japanese people he meets—both veterans and much younger folks—can flatten you. Their desire to understand each other is a lesson we can take to heart and apply in our own lives.
Mr. Yellin is a strong man who bares his soul in an effort, a successful effort, to push beyond the boundaries he has lived with for years and come through a broader, larger person on the other side.
The stories that interweave into one narrative are well-written, and although the theme of forgiveness and reconciliation is strong, there is no tone of preaching or sermonizing. There simply is the revelation of a life starting anew because of his son’s choices and Mr. Yellin’s own.
Note: We met Captain Jerry Yellin at the World War II Anniversary events at Fort DeRussy in December. See MusingsFromaRedhead to read about that and the pleasure of meeting so many of our Veterans.
Capt. Jerry Yellin was stationed on Iwo Jima, and flew the last bombing mission over Japan during WWII. His wingman, a close friend, was lost on that mission, and was likely the last casualty of the War. His wingman happened to be the great uncle of actress Scarlet Johansson. Watch the Youtube video with her and Capt. Yellin, then read the book.
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but it not my life style and I sent it back after reading some of it
I guess I too old fashion ,But I Do enjoy a good story of thing that have real value...Read more