If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our April author interviews: Perennial author Susan Wittig Albert--4/5, Sasscer Hill, horse racing insider--4/12, English historical, cozy author, TE Kinsey--4/19, Debut author, Susan Bickford--4/26.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in April: Heather Baker Weidner (4/1), Christina Hoag (4/8), Susan Boles (4/29). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 4/15--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 4/22--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Writing with my Father, Bronze Star

Writing with my Father part 3; On Winning a Bronze Star

Note: I’ve written before about helping my father write his memoirs. You can read

more in this blog on 18/08/10 and 11/12/10.

From my father:

One day we went out in the field to shoot at an embedded foxhole. We shot from across a railroad embankment. I was one of the better shots in the company with a rifle grenade so I think that’s why I got the assignment. I don’t know if we did any damage.

When we started to return somebody said, “ Hey, look. We’re in a mine field.” I looked and there were little wires sticking up. The mines were called, “Bouncing Betties.” When set off, they would jump up two or three feet and then explode. The idea was to kill or wound as many men as possible. In our minds we could feel the mines exploding into our private parts. We were already scared but I said, “Follow me.” I walked very slowly and carefully. The squad members were content to stay behind me. One man was wounded by a mine when he stepped out of line. Later he died. When we got back to my company they made a big deal out of me getting the men out of the minefield. I was regarded as a hero, but I should have been criticized for taking them in, in the first place.

About a week later a fellow from headquarters showed up and said, “I’ve got a bronze star for you.” I said, “Thank you. What is it for?” He told me it was for getting the men out of the minefield. There was no way I could refuse, but I knew I didn’t really deserve it. I think the company had medals to give out and were looking for any excuse to award one to somebody. They should have given me criticism for getting the men into the minefield in the first place. That’s what the bronze star amounted to.

Note from Warren

For this part of the memoir, I did a few line edits and got out of the way of my father telling his story. I’ve witnessed his attitude about earning a medal and being considered a hero in other members of his Division. When called a hero the universal answer is, “I am not a hero. The real heroes never came home.” He maintained the many outstanding acts of bravery were not witnessed and that getting a medal was based on someone seeing the act and pushing the paperwork.

On November 11, 2010, I watched a segment of the television show 60 Minutes about Staff Sergeant Sal Giunta, who became the first living soldier to receive a Medal of Honor since the war in Viet Nam. He seemed embarrassed to be in his words, “singled out” when so many people were doing so much. He described himself as an “Average” and a “Mediocre” soldier who did only “What anyone else would have done.” He said that members of his unit who died were the only people,

“who gave their all for their country.” He credited his medal to somebody else filling out forms and talking to other people, not to his own actions. His award was for repeatedly charging into enemy fire to save other solders despite being shot twice. He was considered extremely brave in the face of almost certain death.

The Staff Sergeant maintained that he was never in a firefight without others in his unit supporting him. He said he accepted the medal on behalf of all who have served their country.

What does “heroism” mean to you?

6 comments:

Pauline Alldred said...

I agree with your father and Staff Sergeant Guinta that most heroism isn't witnessed or acknowledged. Perhaps the hero is motivated by something deep within himself that means more than life itself. A soldier could naturally be called a hero but, in a country undergoing war or civil conflict, untrained civilians risk their lives to save neighbors and strangers. They don't expect to be rewarded and most often they aren't.

Warren Bull said...

I agree Pauline, civilians can face greater risks without weapons or training.

E. B. Davis said...

When your father said "embedded" does that mean manned?

I take issue with him. Did he make the call to go out on the mission? If he didn't, then why did he think he was responsible for leading the men through a mined field? Sixty years ago the technology didn't exist that would pick up on mined land--in other words--he couldn't have known.

He was a bonafided hero whether he wants credit for the citation or not. I can appreciate humbleness, but not when it contradicts the facts. I believe that people aren't given enough credit and when they deserve it, as your father did, credit should be bestowed, and it was.

Are citations to be given only to the dead?

Warren Bull said...

E.B.
My father was following orders. I think the men were in the minefield before they recognized what it was. I believe it was disguised to some extend. I tried to write my father's impressions, not my own. He witnessed so many acts of bravery, many of them not recognized by commanders, that, like a lot of military men, he developed his own ideas about heroism and discounted his own.

jennymilch said...

"The real heroes never came home." I'm glad your father did, Warren.

Warren Bull said...

Thank you, Jenny