Freedom and Independence

Honoring the Greatest Generation
By Jeff Salter

Today is a day we set aside for remembering that fateful day in 1776 when our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and formally split the new nation America from the rule of England’s King and Parliament and military.
Well, here’s what I had to say last year about Independence Day:
https://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/declaring-independence/
And near the bottom of that post is a link to my 2011 blog (two years ago) which features a condensed article about those Founding Fathers and how much they sacrificed when they publicly put their names to that Declaration.
By the way, when I was a kid, I went to the National Archives and saw the original Declaration document — behind heavy glass, of course.  It was a thrill then and I’m still proud to say I’ve actually seen the original.

My tributes to the greatest generation

But today, I want to celebrate America’s freedom in a slightly different way:  by referring to my two recently published efforts to pay tribute to the greatest generation — those in the military and on the homefront.  These were the folks who suffered through the Great Depression and sacrificed during World War II.  It was the generation of my parents, aunts and uncles, teachers, pastors, neighbors — all those who were such an important part of my upbringing.

The first of these is my full-length novel, Called to Arms Again, which features characters from ages 18 to 88.  It has action, humor, and a bit of romance.  Published by Astraea Press at the end of May 2013.

Jeff's latest release

Jeff’s latest release

Blurb:

Grit doesn’t fade away … it just becomes crusty.  With harrowing elements right out of today’s headlines, this story reaches back into the sturdy heartbeat of people raised during the Depression and tested during World War II.  Though the old uniforms haven’t fit in many decades, their resilient spirits still have that same intensity which helped save democracy.

Needing only a fresh angle to write her Veterans Day special, Kelly discovers first-hand that the Greatest Generation still has enough grit to fight back.  While all the authorities are occupied during a massive Homeland Security drill, an urban gang of thieves targets an isolated retirement subdivision … figuring the crippled geriatrics would offer no resistance.

Though Kelly’s widowed boyfriend came along only for a post-funeral luncheon, Mitch soon finds himself leading a mis-matched flanking team. Kelly’s good friend Wade has his own assignment, with a home-made mortar and lots of illegal gunpowder.

Maybe it’s difficult to remember everyday things like taking pills, but these octogenarians have never forgotten it was up to them to defend family, home, community, and country.  The outcome of their courageous stand depends on the resolve and resourcefulness of an unlikely ensemble of eccentric elderly neighbors, several American Legion members, and others spanning four generations.

A companion piece

Hardly a month after my novel was released, Astraea published my short companion piece to C2AA.  It’s called Echo Taps and features the very touching (and brief) relationship between my C2AA heroine, Kelly, when she was a young girl, and her beloved elderly uncle (who’d been at Hickam Field during the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941).

EchoTaps-C-500x750Blurb:

            Most of the Greatest Generation didn’t discuss their own war heroism.  Her beloved elderly uncle died before he could explain why.

Kelly has just begun interviews for her special newspaper section in honor of upcoming Veterans Day, but she struggles to understand some of the larger issues of the war experience.  Her boyfriend Mitch has a few insights, but he was never in combat.

Out of the blue, Kelly begins having flashbacks to heart-warming experiences with her beloved Uncle Edgar, a World War II veteran of the Pearl Harbor attack… but he’s been dead almost twenty years.  Kelly also believes she’s hearing messages from her deceased Aunt Mildred, who took her in after Kelly’s parents died.

Kelly is aware that siblings Mildred and Edgar (very close in age) were rumored to have had a nearly telepathic connection with each other, and she knows her mother (born considerably later than Kelly’s aunt and uncle) had some extra-sensory perception.  But did Kelly inherit any of those special senses?

Are Uncle Edgar and Aunt Mildred truly reaching back from beyond to help Kelly understand these complex issues?  Or is Kelly just now remembering things long forgotten?

Why did Uncle Edgar tell the young family members such a different version of his actual experiences on December 7, 1941?

Will Kelly’s key interview with the American Legion Post commander just confuse her more… or help pull all these threads together?

Amazon link:

Both the novel and the companion piece – along with my two other novels – can be found here:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=J.L.%20Salter&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

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About jeff7salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Twelve completed novels and five completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015, "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015, "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015, "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014, "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014, "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014, "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014, "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013, "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013, "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013, "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012, "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012. Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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12 Responses to Freedom and Independence

  1. As a kid,I, too, saw the Declaration of Independence at the Nat’l Archives, Jeff.They go through great measures to preserve it.It is encased in special glass filled with certain gasses to keep it preserved and the case, which is made to be impervious to any attack, accident or natural disaster, is built on a lift that will lower it into an even safer spot below the floor if an alarm is sent out.Amazing.
    I think you mentioned the two time periods that truly sacrificed to make this country what every country looked to, where everyone wanted to come.I wish more people knew.I’m sure your book will help. More people need to look into the lives of the Revolution and WWII generations. I hope people realize that we all need to take a look and see if we can be what we are capable of being; I hope it is not too late to open people’s eyes.

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  2. Iris B says:

    Congratulations on your releases AND HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, Jeff!

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  3. Pingback: Which Generation? | Proverbial Thought

  4. Congratulations on your releases, Jeff! They sound intriguing–I especially think my Dad and a History teacher I know would be interested in them. I’ll have to tell them (my brain has been all geared up for my own release, so please pardon me if I’m a little slow about the PR).

    My paternal grandfather fought in WWII, serving in many capacities. It was funny because in high school when we were studying WWII I was told to call Grandpa (by my mother). And I did. My siblings said to me “Oh my gosh, how did you get him to talk to you about it? He NEVER talks about it.” My response was, “I asked.” Apparently it wasn’t easy to get him to say anything even when you asked about that, but I told him I was studying it in school. I don’t remember everything he said about it, but he was very generous about sharing at the time.

    My maternal grandfather told me that the longest time my grandmother did NOT trust businesses (because of The Great Depression), but eventually she did, and apparently really knew what she was doing. Grandma died when I was 9, so I only have vague memories of her, but I do remember she was a gracious and elegant woman. A friend of hers said Grandma never had an unkind word to say about anyone, to which I was really impressed.

    Great post! Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July (mine was okay, I wasn’t feeling well a chunk of the day, but I’m hoping today will be better).

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    • jeff7salter says:

      Thank you for these wonderful comments, Bethany.
      It’s fantastic that you had that experience with your grandfather about his war-time memories. The short companion piece, “Echo Taps” describes just such an experience … though it’s between my heroine (as a young girl) and her elderly uncle.
      Part of that fictional story comes from real-life — since my wife’s Uncle Gene actually WAS at Hickam Field during the Pearl Harbor attack and really WAS blown out of his boots.

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  6. Cara L. Roach says:

    Every generation has its share of men who fully live the art of manliness. But there may never have been a generation when the ratio of honorable men to slackers was higher than the one born between 1914 and 1929. These were the men that grew up during the Great Depression. They’re the men who went off to fight in the Big One. And they’re the men who came home from that war and built the nations of the Western world into economic powerhouses. They knew the meaning of sacrifice, both in terms of material possessions and of real blood, sweat, and tears. They were humble men who never bragged about what they had done or been through. They were loyal, patriotic, and level-headed. They were our Greatest Generation.

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    • jeff7salter says:

      Thank you, Cara, for your perceptive comments. I’m sorry I did not see that your comment was pending until just a minute ago.
      Yes, the men of that period certainly were tested stridently … and a very high proportion proved their mettle. But as my novel illustrates, there was a lot of grit and sacrifice on the homefront as well … and much of this load was borne by the civilian females.
      [Of course there were many combat support roles played by uniformed women as well.]

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  7. Ivan X. Morales says:

    When I was younger my grandfather would take me to vet homes. I realized very early that theses men are the most important Americans we could have. I grew up with the stories of WWII and Viet Nam vets. Horror stories, love stories, stories of the very brave and timid, stories of “he’s not MIA he has a family he didn’t want to leave. Two of my husbands uncles have German war brides. Ever been to a real Oktoberfest?I should do this with my teenagers. I still remember how the guys eyes would light up when you say “tell me a story”and what stories you will hear.Our vets are our national treasures and their stories need to be heard and remembered.

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    • jeff7salter says:

      I greatly appreciate your comment, Ivan. I apologize that it languished in the holding pen until I just now saw the notification.
      I certainly agree that our vets are national treasures … which is one reason I’m trying so hard to get this novel and its companion short story into their hands (before they pass away).

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