VOICES OF WWII VETERANS
Voices of WWII Veterans presents a captivating oral history of twenty World War II veterans through writing and photographic images. These unique men and women speak candidly about their childhoods during the Great Depression, their military battles and home front service, and the challenges of returning to civilian life. They also share their reactions to the horrors of September 11, 2001, and the ongoing war on terrorism.
Their remarkable stories were brought together with accuracy and sensitivity over a three-year process of interviews and research by Rae Dalton Hight, RN, MA, a therapist and nurse whose own father was a World War II and Korean War veteran.
In December 2004, I completed a three-year project with the publication of Voices of WWII Veterans.. .A Kaleidoscope of Memories. The genesis for this book began after the brutal attacks of September 11, 2001, as I wondered what my father, (a World War II veteran who had passed away in 1986), might have thought about this attack on the country he had fought so hard to defend. The following is an excerpt from that book.
World War II embraced and changed the lives of millions of Americans. Young men were called in from the farms and cities. Young women were encouraged to support the military both at home and abroad. Most were filled with a pulse of patriotism, were incredibly naive, and had never been away from their homes and families. All of them believed they could make a difference.
Most World War II veterans, now in their seventies, eighties, and nineties, experienced their adolescence through the lens of a financial hailstorm that pockmarked the United States and the world. Some were deeply aware of the crisis; others lived in a state of poverty that made the Great Depression seem almost incidental. World War II became the equalizer that brought this generation to maturity through hardships and challenges none could have anticipated.
I present to you twenty individuals who share a common history, with very unique impressions. Collectively, they helped assure freedom for our country. Individually, they offer a voice of experience that is unique to their histories, their personalities, and their perceptions.
These many years later, they once again face the stunning realization that America is not invulnerable to attack. Though no longer able to enter battle themselves, they remain interested and concerned about the young men and women who are, once again, being asked to leave their homes and dreams to step into harm's way.
I am now beginning the research for a second book, which will be another oral history. The format for this book (working title Voices ofWWII. ..the Home Front) will be vignettes (rather than the modified biographies in the first book) and will be organized into general categories regarding home front living conditions and activities.
The following is a listing of the anticipated general categories. If you (or someone you know) might be interested in being interviewed for this second volume, please contact me. I will provide specific questionnaires and conduct interviews (beginning in the spring) by one or more of the following: in person, via cassette tapes, telephone conversations, and e-mail.