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Loris Jacobs from Waynedale shared his stories in the book titled: World War II Legacies: Stories of Northeast Indiana Veterans.Personal accounts of World War II from 28 military veterans in northeast Indiana are featured in a new book by Bluffton author Kayleen Reusser. Waynedale residents Bob Foster and Loris Jacobs (deceased on 10.13.2014) are among the nine Allen County World War II veterans included.

More than 20 of the veterans featured in World War II Legacies: Stories of Northeast Indiana Veterans will be in attendance at a ‘Meet the Vet’ event to be held Saturday, November 8, 2014, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Bluffton Armory, 500 E. Spring Street in Bluffton. The public is invited to meet them and talk about their time in service. Copies of the book will be available for purchase during the event.

The book, produced this year by Oak Creek Publishing, contains stories and photos Reusser collected through interviews with veterans in Allen, Adams, Wells, Huntington and Whitley counties. Accounts of men and women who served 70 years ago in the Army, Army Air Corps, Navy and Marines are included.

“I am pleased to record a wide variety of exciting stories from World War II in this book,” said Reusser. “This war played such an important part in our nation’s history. I hope readers will develop an intimate understanding of that period through the stories and appreciate what the soldiers and their loved ones at home experienced during the war and what serving meant to Americans during that time.”

Reusser has been a professional writer for 24 years, contributing to newspapers and magazines and authoring 11 books for children. This is her first book for adults. From a military family herself, she explained that the book is not a technical version of the war. “This is a book everyone can understand,” she said. “I wrote much of it using the vets’ own words to give readers of all ages the view of the war from those who were actually there.”

The book recounts the veterans’ harrowing experiences of combat at Normandy on D-Day, Battle of the Bulge, Iwo Jima, Remagen, Okinawa and other strategic battles. The vets share their memories of not only danger from the enemy, but also other conditions that threatened their health and peace of mind: heat, malaria, typhoons, freezing temperatures, fear and homesickness. Stories range from the intense, such as a downed pilot hidden by farmers in the French Resistance and a soldier’s dog saving him and others from a fiery death in Japan, to the humorous, such as a soldier’s returning home with a monkey as a souvenir. Each account includes a current photo of the veteran and, when available, a photo of him or her in uniform.

Don Shady, an Army Air Corps pilot from Bluffton whose experience flying in Operation Market Garden is featured in the book, has endorsed the compilation. “These stories are reminders of an important event that happened 70 years ago and which seems to have been forgotten by many people. It is interesting to read about the war from the viewpoint of other people who served. It makes us feel like family.”

World War II Legacies: Stories of Northeast Indiana Veterans is available through the author via email to kjreusser@adamswells.com or phone: 260-273-9264. The cost is $20 plus $4.95 for processing and shipping. More information about Reusser’s writing is available at her website: www.KayleenR.com.

Reusser is available for speaking engagements and public appearances. In 2013 she founded the Fort Wayne Christian Writing Club that meets the fourth Tuesday night of each month at Waynedale Public Library meeting room at 6pm. She resides in Bluffton with her husband, John. They have three adult children.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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