Capturing Military Stories, One Veteran at a Time
Over the past several years I have had the privilege of interviewing 250 World War II veterans like Ray Willig, an Army soldier who lied about his age to enlist at age 16. Ray’s story of fighting at Omaha Beach is featured in my new book, D-Day: Soldiers, Sailors and Airman Tell about Normandy.
These veteran stories fascinate me as I continue to search for and record their experiences before it is too late and they are all gone.
My first three books contain nearly 100 stories based on personal interviews. The first book We Fought to Win: American WWII Veterans Share Their Stories contains stories from men and women who served in various branches, including 2 WASP (Women’s Air Service Pilots). The second book, They Did It for Honor: Stories of American WWII Veterans, contains stories about WWII veterans who served in the Marines, Army, Navy, Army Air Corps, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marines, including a air crew member who survived a plane crash only to be captured and held prisoner in a German camp.
My third book, We Gave Our Best: American WWII Veterans Tell Their Stories, includes a story of a Montford Point Marine who, due to his skin color, was segregated with others, from white Marines during basic training.
These books are available in print and Kindle. We’ve also created an audio version of Book 1 that will be available for purchase soon.
Need a speaker?
After completing a 10-day WWII tour of Europe, I‘ve shared my experiences with audiences of all ages via Powerpoint. I describe being on Omaha Beach, standing in a foxhole in Belgium and looking in awe at Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest retreat near the Austrian Alps. The 45-minute talks are interspersed with comments told to me by WWII veterans who served there, including the liberation of the death camp near Dachau.
My talk about Europe is designed to be inspiring and educational. Here is what one librarian said:
“Kayleen Reusser offered an excellent presentation. The audience seemed to enjoy seeing all of the pictures and hearing the stories. My family and I were still talking about it the next morning. I enjoyed working with the author and can’t wait to read her new book!” — Shana Neuenschwander, Berne (IN) Public Library
Contact information is available on my Speaking page.
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Coming Soon: World War II Legacies: Stories of Northeast Indiana Veterans Audiobook!
Listen to the first story below. Follow me on social media for updates about when the audiobook will be available for purchase.