The most rewarding part of making this book was meeting and interviewing the veterans of WWII. I thank them for sharing their stories. And more than anything else, I thank them for their service.
The most difficult part was actually finding them. One would think a Government agency or a military agency would keep track of the veterans. They don’t. Some veteran organizations do keep lists but cannot legally release any names or information, and thus the vets live in relative anonymity.
I managed to find these men and women in two ways: with the help of journalists around the country who work tirelessly reporting important events in the local press and by ‘word of mouth.’ When I was looking for a Navajo Code Talker, for instance, a Google search turned up a story in a Phoenix newspaper by Brian Skoloff. A couple of phone calls later, Brian had helped me contact Roy Hawthorne, Navajo Code Talker. Thanks to Melanie Burney at The Philadelphia Inquirer. She helped put me in touch with someone from the battleship USS New Jersey. Thanks to Ruthie Millar at Clemson Downs in South Carolina. She welcomed me into their retirement community, home on many veterans. Thanks to everyone at Medford Leas in New Jersey, another beautiful retirement home with many veterans.
I’m a photographer by trade, meaning I need a lot of help with my writing. Thanks to Suzanne Murphy and Tina Kaupe who gave me constant help as I struggled to put my sentences together. Thank you for the suggestions and proofreading.