Leora’s Letters is the story about the five Wilson brothers who are featured on the Dallas County Freedom Rock at Minburn, Iowa, which was dedicated in October 2019. Leora was their mother.
All five brothers enlisted. Only two came home.
The day the second atomic bomb was dropped, Clabe and Leora Wilson’s postman brought a telegram to their acreage near Perry, Iowa. One son was already in the U.S. Navy before Pearl Harbor had been attacked. Four more sons worked with their father, tenant farmers near Minburn until, one by one, all five sons were serving their country in the military.
The oldest son reenlisted in the Navy. The younger three became U.S. Army Air Force pilots.
As the family optimist, Leora wrote hundreds of letters, among all her regular chores, dispensing news and keeping up the morale of the whole family, which included the brothers’ two sisters.
Her fondest wishes were to have a home of her own and family nearby. Leora’s Letters is the compelling true account of a woman whose most tender hopes were disrupted by great losses. Yet she lived out four more decades with hope and resilience.
Joy lets us see her grandmother’s personal family correspondence through letters. It is heart tugging. Be ready to be moved by this true story.–Van Harden, WHO-Radio Personality
Joy Neal Kidney, the oldest granddaughter of the book’s heroine, is the keeper of family stories, letters, photos, combat records, casualty reports, and telegrams. Active on her own website, she is also a writer and local historian. Married to a Vietnam Air Force veteran, Joy lives in central Iowa.
Her nonfiction has been published in The Des Moines Register, other media, and broadcast over “Our American Stories.” She’s a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, and her essays have been collected by the Iowa Women’s Archives at the University of Iowa.
The book is available on Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com.
In central Iowa, you may find autographed copies at The Machine Shed (Urbandale), Beaverdale Books (Des Moines, will ship), Adel Quilting and Drygoods (email@example.com–will ship). Also at the Gold Star Museum at Camp Dodge, and libraries in Dexter and Minburn.
I will have too get a copy!
WOW ~ Congratulations ~ very exciting
Not bad for a first book at my age!
It’s now on my list, Joy!!
Fantastic! How wonderful to have a completed project. I’ll be sure to get a copy.
Amazed and humbled, after two dozen years of working on it.
Wow. That’s dedication!
I just ordered my copy and a copy for my sister-in-law for Christmas!
Bless you, Liz! I’m amazed and humbled by all of this, but so thankful that what the family went through won’t be forgotten.
No, you’ve seen to that. What a gift you’ve given to your family and to the world at large.
Bless you, Liz.
Congratulations, Joy! Thanks for sharing this story with us!
I am so happy for you! Congratulations on your book! And what a beautiful book to compose at that…a heartwarming family legacy of love. Life can be bitter-sweet, but when love is at the center, there is no greater way to live.
My book has arrived, I can’t wait to dive into it. Thank you once again!
Sounds very good. It´s on my TBR list. Well done.
Just cannot let those boys be forgotten!