November has been quite a month for an old Vet like me.

I’ve been appearing at a number of book events, along with my daughter Dolores, author of The Soldier That Wagged Her Tail, speaking to people from all walks of life about my time in the service during World War II.

Each event is such a pleasure for me and I truly appreciate the opportunity to share my story, as well as Trixie’s, the dog that accompanied me through several key moments of the war.

One recent event that was planned around Veteran’s Day was with more than 65 high school students in Staten Island, NY, just about a week ago.

I enjoy speaking with the younger generations the most because of the importance for the old, like me, to tell the young, like these great kids, what really happened all those years ago.

Even now, so many years later, I still cry when talking about certain parts of my story. Each recollection of the memories of what I witnessed when that USS Landing Ship Tank (LST) door came down on D-Day and how me and my brothers in arms faced the oncoming ocean at Normandy, rushing toward us, I couldn’t stop the tears remembering the horror; the ocean that quickly turned red from all the blood of soldiers that perished; their screams and body parts flying apart in front of me; whenever I recall these events, they haunt me time and time again. If it sounds terrifying, that’s because it was. But those young men were brave, fought with honor, and I will never forget them or that dreadful day. And I tell my story because it’s also their story.

I’m always amazed by the number of strangers who thank me. And they are all ages, all races. How funny is it that I got no thanks when I first got home from the war, but now everyone seems to be grateful. I’m just glad I’m still around to be thanked!

The students I speak to can’t seem to get enough of my story. They have such great questions. They want to know things like why I joined, or whether or not I was afraid, what did my parents say when I enlisted, how could I fight for the country when it was so full of racism in those days.

They also want to know more about me, the soldier and young man who went off to war, and of course about the battles.

I cherish these gatherings and look forward to many more throughout the coming new year and beyond!

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A very touching story of a black American soldier and the dog he meets and befriends during WWII. It made me laugh and cry. Including the dog’s dialogue was a very creative way to make the story come alive. Highly recommend this book.

— Beverly Wilson
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