Part I Hearing Voices: 6 Steps I Used For Creating An Anthology

This is how I created my anthology. It is a labor of love dedicated to the two veterans in my life, my father and my son.

Love You More Than You Know: Mothers’ Stories About Sending Their Sons and Daughters to War lets the voice of mothers be heard.  God bless our troops and our military families.

Joseph Vayo 18 yrs old 1942 grandfather of Joseph Reinart:Joseph Reinart 21 yrs old 2002: Edmund Reinart,  32 yrs. old 1942 grandfather Joseph Reinart

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Weekend of the Pooka- Book Signing September 14-15th, 2013

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Looking forward to seeing you at the Bedford Commons this weekend, September 14 and 15th from 1:00-3:00 PM. Stop by and say “Hello”. I will be signing the award winning book, Love You More Than You Know Mothers’ Stories About Sending Their Sons and Daughters to War. See you at the Author Tent on the Bedford Commons,             730 Broadway Avenue, Bedford Ohio.

DC-based Public Artist Selects Quote From Love You More Than You Know

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Images courtesy of The Patterson Foundation

Larry Kirkland, a DC-based public artist is working on a project for the Sarasota National Veterans Cemetery in Florida, funded by The Patterson Foundation.

Larry’s project is to tell the story of what it is like to serve in the military or be in a service family. Sixteen 8.5′ x 4′ x 8″ white marble TABLETS will be created as part of a public art installation called SERVICE, SUPPORT, SACRIFICE.

Each tablet will have a window cut into it that contains a photographic image printed on glass that sits in the window.The tablets will also include an engraved image and TEXT on the face of the marble. 

The text includes a collection from personal and published interviews. One of the quotes Larry will include as text on one of the tablets is by Kathy Sargent on page 135 of Love You More Than You Know Mothers’ Stories About Sending Their Sons an d Daughters to War. Kathy’s story is titled “Army Mom, Serving in the Silent Ranks.”

Congratulations to Kathy. Her words honor all Blue Star and Gold Star Mothers. Her words speak for us all. Her words will speak for generations to come:

We of the ‘Silent Ranks’ go about our business every day. We go to the grocery store, take our younger children to dance, soccer, baseball and band practice. We clean our homes, take care of our yards, cook and clean…We have tear-stained faces and cry while reading the labels of canned foods at the store....We fly the American Flag alongside a service banner…We’re just like everyone else; we just have a little more on our minds than most.”

The Votes Are in For the 2013 Best Cleveland Book

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It’s official! Woohoo! Thank you for the votes! This award honors our beloved sons, daughters and families in the military. Debra Estep, one of the authors in our book, Love You More Than You Know, couldn’t have said it better, “Our stories are a tiny fraction of the thousands of military families who have had children ‘go off to war’. To the many who never came back, to the many who came back, but will never be the same, and to those still serving in far off lands….THIS IS FOR THEM !!!!!!

We Are in The Finals

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There were more than 1,000 nominations for best Cleveland book and Love You More Than You Know Mothers’ Stories About Sending Their Sons and Daughters to War made the top five books.

Please vote for Love You More Than You Know for being named as one of the finalist in the 2013 About.com Readers Choice award for Best Cleveland book. You can continue to vote once in a 24 hour period until March 19 with the winner being announced on March 27.

Thank you for your votes and keep them coming!

A Christmas Surprise from Pete Maizitis

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Pete Maizitis sent me a Christmas surprise! I met Pete and his wife, Irene at A Celebration of the Arts this September (2012) in Bedford, Ohio. Pete had his video camera and asked if he could interview me.

I was in the author tent signing copies of Love You More Than You Know Mother’s Stories About Sending Their Sons and Daughters to War. The result was the wonderful surprise of this video with radio legend, Larry Morrow.

Pete said, “Irene is mailing off your book to my sister and brother in law in Florida. They have two boys overseas. Safe so far …I know they will enjoy the book and relate to the many others in the same situations.”

Thank you Pete for the interview and the cool video! Many blessings and prayers to you, your nephews, and your family for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Eighth Graders Write About Veterans

a7fb87ca8d25424bbdc2584a228793e1453d7e6c_500Give a warm welcome to my special guests Caroline, Isabel, and Justin, eighth graders from St. Francis Xavier Elementary School in Medina, Ohio. These students wrote essays sharing what Veteran’s Day means to them.

Caroline Baker loves music, art, playing the piano, and spending time with her family. Her classmate, Isabel Cooper is a member of the Drama Club, Student Council, and Future Teachers of America. Isabel enjoys writing, music, spending time with her family as well as playing volleyball for the school CYO team.

Their current Student Council President, Justin Austin describes himself as “a fun-loving student who is actively involved in my school community.” Besides being a Student School Ambassador, Justin participates in the Power of the Pen, Math Club, Drama Club, and National Junior Honor Society. Outside of school, he enjoys playing soccer and being active in Boy Scouts.

Caroline speaks for all the students,” I cannot thank veterans or those currently serving enough. My classmates and I truly appreciate all that you do. Thank you!”

Their teacher, Mary Anne Mayer is co-editor and wrote the chapter, “The Year Our Children Went to War,” in Love You More Than You Know Mothers’ Stories About Sending Their Sons and Daughters to War.

Caroline wrote an essay about her grandfather entitled the “Bravest Volunteer.” The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is what completely persuaded my grandfather and the men he worked with to volunteer to join the Army. He received nine bronze stars serving in invasions during WWII all over the world.

 My grandfather watched men fall all around him, not having time to look back. He was too busy laying down wire to communicate through radio. His job was vital to having an advantage, so that the plans during battle would be understood more clearly.

It is one thing to celebrate Veteran’s Day, and another to know what it means. Although my grandfather is deceased, my family and I have not forgotten the incredible service, dedication, and sacrifice that he has given to our beautiful country. It is no mystery that the reason for our freedom is because of these extremely brave men and women that step forward to defend our nation.

 Isabel also wrote about her grandfather in “A Hero in my Heart.“ My grandfather enlisted in the Army when he was twenty-two years old. He wanted to join the Army, so that if war ever did break out, he could be trained to fight and be ready to go. He said, “ I joined the Army in case I was ever needed.”

 While he was in active duty for two years, my grandmother was at home thinking about what her fiancé was doing at the base. My grandmother told me a story of how my grandfather had given her a promise ring, showing how much he would be thinking of her while away. 

 After my grandfather was discharged from the Army, he married my grandmother, Lucille Kay, the love of his life, on August 16, 1958. This summer, they will be celebrating their fifty-fifth wedding anniversary. He spent thirty-five years installing telephone poles, helping raise two kids, babysitting his grandkids, and spending six years serving our country. 

 That is what I think of when I think about my grandpa. He is a strong man for what he did in his life and I do not think he would be the same person he is today, if he had not been in the Army. 

 Now, I get to spend time with my grandfather every Sunday. I love my grandpa and the stories he tells, the way he laughs, and the funny dances he does when we are all sitting around the table. I love everything about my grandfather and the person that he is inside and out. This is why my grandfather is a hero in my heart.

 Unlike super heroes in the movies, a real hero is the person who puts their life on the line for others. Soldiers, sailors, Marines – these people are the real deal, observes Justin Austin in his essay “The Real Deal.”

 They go out and see the horrors of war. These brave and courageous souls walk through battle zones knowing that at any moment death could come to them. They know this, but they still go out into war to protect this wonderful nation so that we might call it home.

They fight so that we might keep the freedoms we are given as United States citizens. They fight to keep us safe from the evil our enemies try to inflict on us. They fight so that all of us can go to bed at night not having to worry about an attack on our homes. They fight so we can go about our lives in our usual manner. This is what our veterans so bravely do for us.

 If you ask them how they feel, most would respond by saying that they were just doing their job. Veterans are our superheroes, no matter how humbly they may object. They will always be my heroes and even if I can’t tell each of them personally, I will know it in my heart and mind. Thank you for teaching me what a superhero really is and for your service to this grateful nation. We are forever in your debt for your heroic acts.

 Caroline, Isabel, and Justin, thank you for sharing your thoughts and for honoring our veterans for their service.

 

Books and Cooks Today–Join Me

Come on over and say “hello” today, April 2,2012, 6-8 PM at Madison Public Library for a book signing event —Books & Cooks.  I will be there signing Love You More Than You Know Mothers’ Stories About Sending Their Sons and Daughters to War.