For over five years the Miller Family, Myra Miller, PhD, Ken Miller, Del Miller, Marshall Miller, and Lynette Miller Ballard, have zealously gathered memoirs of World War II servicemen and servicewomen. In 2016 they published Soldiers’ Stories: A Collection of WW II Memoirs. Now, on the 75th anniversary of the end of the war, they have given us a second volume. Were it not for the Miller Family, most of these stories would not have seen the light of day. Tom Brokaw popularized the phrase “The Greatest Generation.” Read the stories and you will see why the title is deserved by all 16 million men and women who served so proudly.
Here are the mysteries of courage, the terrors of violence, and the cruelties and coincidences of war. Here, also, are reminders of the humorous events and day-to-day life of those war years. Our first book collected stories our father told us and accounts of other WWII veterans. More narratives demanded a second volume. History is alive. As any veteran will tell you, our future depends on the choices we make now, choices based on our understanding of the past and the meaning of war. Each person’s story speaks of the precious gift of life and our common humanity beyond national borders.
I was so taken by the first handsome volume of soldiers stories that I submitted stories for this one. The Wilson family story is laid out so well across eleven pages of this treasure. Five brothers served. Only two came home.
The second edition of the book also includes two pages of my dad, Warren Neal. There are two of his brother, Willis Neal, who flew over “the Hump.” My mother’s cousin, Merrill Goff, is also featured.
There are stories of men and women from every branch of the service, some who survived, some who did not. The memoirs are written by the veterans themselves, by family members, or interested friends. There are stories about the Manhattan Project, Red Cross workers, Rosie the Riveter, men who have adopted the overseas graves of American fallen, even one who found dog tags in Belgium and did the research to find family members. One veteran is honored by memories of his 12-year-old great grandson. Michelle Obama’s grandfather’s service is also documented.
As a follower of G. P. Cox’s Pacific Paratrooper website, I was delighted to find four pages dedicated to WWII stories of his father.
This superbly crafted oversized volume of personal histories would be a fine gift for any history or World War II enthusiast.
Copies autographed by all five Miller siblings may be ordered directly from them.
Here is G.P. Cox’s review of this book.