Friday, November 11, 2011

Seekerville Welcomes Guest Blogger Tricia Goyer

Veteran's Day.

Sometimes the best stories are the ones hidden deep in a heart.

Today I opened a bubble envelope from my friend John. John is 86-years-old. I first meet him in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Or, wait, maybe it was Buffalo, New York. You see, I traveled to those places to interview Veterans from the 11th Armored Division. I first heard about these World War II vets when I was touring Mauthausen Concentration Camp in Austria. I was awed by the stories I heard. Those stories soon inspired a novel, From Dust and Ashes, and many more novels after that. What I didn't realize that while the novels were nice, an even greater gift has been the relationships with the dozens of men like John. The best stories are the ones I found deep in a veteran's heart.

Opening the bubble envelope from John I found a few things. First was a booklet published by the Shippensburg Historical Society. The Battle of the Bulge: One Small Corner by Dr. John Fague. There are some newspaper clippings from John's column, “Do You Remember?” And …

Gasp. There are photocopies of letters that 19-year-old John wrote to his mother.

Dec 26 Tue 1944
Mother dear,

Today we are having wonderful weather. The sun is warm and everything beautiful. On days like this, it is really enjoyable living in the outdoors. The ground is frozen except in a few places where the sun has thawed an inch on top. At nights the temp goes below freezing, and it is very cold. I would much rather have freezing weather like this than mud and rain which we will have soon. So far, I haven't been cold at night yet. I have one bed roll inside the other and two arm blankets for insulation against the frozen ground …

April 27, 1945

Dear dad,

The other day I saw something which left a vivid impression on my mind. In our advance we came on thousands of slaves whom the Germans were attempting to evacuate … the prisoners had been starved and beaten. Their cheeks were hollow, and some were too weak to walk. The clothes they wore were pitiful and some had convict suits which looked like pajamas.

I found myself reading through the letters in awe. Even though I've interviewed over 100 veterans I'm always moved by each personal story. I learn something through ever letter and story. Out of all the veterans who fought each veteran's experiences, hopes, fears, and pain are unique.

When I first started writing fiction I was excited about seeing my name in print. I thought making up characters was fun. I loved being around writers, and I hoped that I could write something that could entertain and inspire readers. What I didn't expect was how I would be inspired. I didn't expect to meet men like John. I didn't expect to receive gifts like these letters.

A few years ago I was attending a writer's conference and the speaker asked, “If you could only write one more novel which story would you choose?” An idea popped into my mind. It was a story of a young woman who was busy with life until she was asked to travel to Europe with her grandfather to visit all his old World War II battle sites. I knew I wanted to write this story so I could—in a small way—share the relationships with WWII veterans that have meant so much to me.

Just this month that novel hit the bookstore shelves. Remembering You is more than just a title. It's my pledge as a writer. I will remember those who cared enough to share their stories. I will remember them with words on the page. I will remember them deep in my heart.

If you'd like to hear more about my experiences interviewing WWII veterans, you can watch this video by Guideposts:

But even more than that I'd like you to consider the veterans in your life. Is there a family member, neighbor or fellow church member who served? Make it your goal this Veteran's Day to call him or her. Many veterans appreciate when someone is willing to listen. Maybe some of you writers might—like me—find a story in their words, but even if you don't I bet you'll find a friend. More than that you'll remind a veteran that what he or she did matters. Sometimes the best thing we can do for someone else is ordering a coffee and sitting back with an listening ear.

Tricia Goyer is a wife, mom, author, speaker and radio host. She has 30 books and over 400 articles in print. You can find out more about Tricia at

Today Tricia is generously giving away two copies of Remembering You to two visitors. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.


  1. Hm. I must be up too late. I'm usually poster 156.

    I love the concept of this book. And it sounds like it would make a great movie. It's going on my TBR list, Tricia. Unless I win it. :)

    By the way, two weeks ago I read From Dust and Ashes and enjoyed it. I don't know that I'd ever read a WWII book that showed the rescue of a concentration camp. Very good, very moving.

  2. [Julie - I was not hitting refresh this time!!!]

    Tricia - another great story! [She'll be on Pentalk on Friday as well with another fabulous story!]

    Some wonderful stories!

    Thank you so much for sharing! I'd love to be in the drawing!!!

    carolmoncado at gmail dot com

    [Virginia - we know my DD is sensitive to certain detergents and when her winter clothes came out this year it was really bad until I washed them. Hadn't thought about fabrics but will keep my eyes open.]

  3. Thank you Tricia, for the wonderful post. Your story is tremendous.

    I also had a dear octogenarian Vet who contributed photos for a project I was working on, and his generosity made my work so much more rich. The photo of you with John reminded me of the photo I have of me and Mr. Snavely, also a WWII vet who took me on his memories of places and things that I could never imagine. My dear friend went Home early this year, and I'm sure he's having new adventures with the angels and family members that were waiting to greet him. What they experienced is something that we, as writers, or family members, or friends, can memorialzie for future generations. Freedom isn't free. And we learn from each generation if we only stop to listen.

    Best and Blessings,

  4. What a wonderful tribute to veterans everywhere. I salute you, Tricia and thank you for this book and for guesting with us today.

  5. And by the way we have two vets among the Seekers. Who knows who and which branch?

  6. What an inspiring post, Tricia!

    This must be why I write historicals instead of contemporaries - the stories those veterans have told you will live on in your readers' hearts and imaginations rather than languishing in an old man's memories. The past is meant to be remembered and shared, and what better way than through stories?

    I'll have to look for your books - I'm sorry to say I've never read one - but they're on my "look for" list now!

  7. Let's see...veterans among the Seekers...does that include friends, also?

    I know you're one, Tina. (Our very own drill sergeant). I'm guessing here, but I'd say Army?

    If I remember right, Vince is also a veteran - I remember he trained dogs, but can't remember which branch...

    Debby has so many military connections, but I don't remember that she was in the military...

    Tina, you've really gotten me to stretch the memory muscles tonight!

    Happy Veterans Day, everyone!

  8. Such a timely post. Thank you, Tricia.

    Tina: Cara Lynn is a vet. Navy I think. Jan already named you.

    My youngest son is a vet. Served deployments in Iraq, Gitmo,and Korea.

    Plenty of coffee set up.


  9. Thank you, Tricia, for sharing your convictions and your heart for the military! My own daddy and my grandpa served in the military, and I am very proud of them. They have some amazing, moving stories to tell!

    May God bless our military men and women, as well as their families - those who served in the past and those who are serving now. May their sacrifices never be forgotten.


    P.S. Tricia, since learning about this book I have been intrigued by it, and I would love a chance to read it! Thank you!

  10. By the way, I wanted to add that Vince is my guest today over at my personal blog, "Seasons of Humility." The post goes up midnight (PST). He's talking about important reminders for military romances, and it would be wonderful to see some Seekers/friends of Seekers stop by and visit! :)

    Here's the link to my blog:


  11. That is, important reminders *for writers* of military romances... Sorry for missing a couple of words there!


  12. Tricia those letters are a goldmind. My great uncle died in Austria in WW1 and I would love to read letters he wrote. My other great uncle on dads side died at Gallipolie (sp). My dad was in WW2 along with 5 uncles and 2 aunts. None died but one was a prisoner of war. I never met him. I do remember hearing some of dads stories, they were not bad ones just some of the places he went. At one stage Dad had a photo in the paper. They were looking for human interest stories and Dad and another soldier had a contest who could grow the best mustache and keep it the longest, The other guys went long and he could twirl it dads went ginger and really bushy and he got the nickname Tojo (like in the general from Japan)

  13. Thank you for sharing these inspiring stories, Tricia.

    We have a man who volunteers in our school who is a veteran. When my class was talking about the history of Veteran's Day today, I reminded them to say a word of thanks to him. Some of them did and he was so very touched by it.

  14. Tricia, I'm reading your post and having a difficult time keeping the tears from my eyes. My family is filled with Vets. Hub's grandfather was a gunner in a Curtis Helldiver during WWII. My grandfather who passed this last March was retired Air Force. My dad was an MP, as was my father-in-law. One of my uncles has Gulf War Syndrome.

    But that isn't the only reason I'm fighting tears. Some how God has enabled you to be compassionate, not just in one area but many. Your compassion for Vets is just one small aspect of your ministry.

    I recently read one of your co-written books (I won't say which one as I don't want to take away from Remembering You) and gave it to my oldest daughter. The words and truth written within the pages added to what God was already doing and has inspired her to be active in sharing God's love to all of her friends and more. She has this great desire to be Jesus to those she encounters. She's excited about ministering to the young women in the homeless shelter.

    To all of you Seeker friends, Tricia's books are a must read. And check out her website to see what a great inspiration she is. I often point people to her blog as it is filled with wisdom and truth. And it's a great read.

    No, I'm not on her payroll, I've just been super blessed by her.


  15. Thank you for posting those letters, they were really cool to read. My uncle (who is now deceased) was in the Navy and a few months ago we were helping my grandma clean her attic and we found letters that he had sent her and my Pap. Since I don't have any memories of him it was cool to read them. My grandfathers both served in WWII but I never really got to hear stories from them. :(

  16. Amber, I went right over... and then realized I have to wait until midnight! Ha! I have a mind like a steel seive.

    Ausjenny, I love the story of your grandpa's mustache!

    I feel like I really missed the boat with this post. My grandfather was in WWII and helped liberate a concetration camp. I went to live in Poland during grad school and wrote back to his that I'd visited an old camp. He wrote back about his war experiences. That was the first time I'd ever heard anything about it.

    So, I feel as if I didn't say THANK YOU enough, until then. Now, every year my kids and I bake red/white/blue cupcakes and give them to all the military people we know in town. I don't want them to grow up never even thinking about the sacrifices our military men and women make- like I did. I lived in a bubble until it was almost too late that say 'thank you'.

  17. P.S. I did know my grandparents' story about their wedding:

    My g-father went to Italy and Germany for five YEARS and before he left he told my g-mother that he didn't want to leave her a widow, and wasn't going to ask her to wait.

    They wrote every week for five years!

    When he was sent back, he didn't tell her, just started driving from his home in Idaho to where she was teaching University chemistry.

    She told me she was mad when he walked in because she had big goggles on for eye protection and knew it made a dent in her hair. And we all know a man should give a lady a little heads up!

    (This is where my g-father would say how cute she looked in her chem goggles.)

    They were married 4 DAYS later.

  18. It's only been in the last ten years or so that my Dad has started to talk about his service as a Marine during WWII. He was in four big battles including the battle of Iwo Jima. Tomorrow I hope to see him and tell him thank you once again.

  19. Veterans. Yeah, lots of those. My husband's Grandpa (rest his soul) was in the Pacific theater in WWII. I love the pictures of him smoking with his buddies on the edges of the jungle. I know, smoking is bad, but I love how they managed to be so carefree in those rare moments of peace. Part of his job must have been clearing land because some of the pics show him on a dozer, or something like one. He often said that he'd lost count of the times he had to dive down behind his dozer-deck to dodge enemy fire. He was an amazing man.

    My grandfather served in the Korean War--Army I think.

    My fil served in the Army there in the late 60s, you know years after the conflict was *supposed* to be over. He was gloriously saved while serving his country there.

    My step-father is a Marine Corps vet who served in Vietnam. He's still pretty jumpy. When waiting outside a door for him to emerge, be certain to make a lot of noise so he knows you're there...especially if the door in question leads to the bathroom. ;) I learned that one the hard way.

    My brother spent 4 years in the Marines. He had a month left in boot camp on Sept. 11, 2001 (and his best friend graduated that very week). Talk about scary. Even at that, he had to do only one stint in Iraq. We were grateful, he was frustrated ;)

    I have a cousin who was in the Army for 9 years, came home and stayed on as a Reservist, and is now back on active duty in--I think, Afghanistan.

    My youngest cousin was in the Navy for a couple of years, until he was diagnosed with PTSD and bi-polar and was honorably discharged.

    /deep breath/ I think that's all of them. At least the ones I'm related to.

    Needless to say, I adore Veterans. To me, that kind of service is truly amazing. Awe inspiring.

    Tina, Cara, Cheryl, Debbie, and any others who've served or supported a spouse, parent, or child serving... I say Thank you, from the bottom of my heart /sniffle/.

    Dagnabbit! Where are the tissues when you need 'em?!

  20. Thank you for this poat Tricia. The letters gripped my heart. I love the military. I was born into it and raised in it. The respect I have for them cannot be expressed in just a few words. The men and women in the military today deserve our respect and our prayers.

    I love your work and would love to win a copy of Remembering You. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  21. Oh, wow. I love how you honored the veterans with this post. I grew up in a military town and I now work on a military base. I see everyday how much these men and women (and their families) sacrifice for this country. It is humbling and amazing.

    I can't wait to read your book. And I love how you shared with us the comment from one of your instructors, "if you could just write one more book." That gave me chills. I want to keep that in my mind before I write my next book.

  22. Tricia, welcome to Seekerville on this hallowed day, and bless you for sharing with us.

    Just three days ago we had a Vietnam Era soldier returned to our small town. A convoy of vehicles brought his remains back home, forty years after he'd been lost in a bunker attack. His sister is married to my husband's cousin, the way things go so often in small towns.

    They'll put him to rest tomorrow, in the Union cemetery just down the road apiece, with family and friends gathered 'round at long last.

    Rest in peace, Sgt. David Lemcke

    We should never take our freedom lightly or wave off the sacrifices that keep us free.

    Thank you, Tricia, for you heartfelt reminders, you beautiful words.

  23. Ooops, tissues are available around the room.

    And your thoughts, ladies. The stories you're sharing...

    God bless America.

    Coffee's here. And yes, cookie trays. I have a brother who served in the marines and one in the army and my older sister was an army nurse in Thailand, caring for the injured during the Vietnam era...

    Dave's brother just recently retired from the Army reserve...

    They mostly like cookies.

  24. Good Morning Tricia, Thank you for sharing here in Seekerville and what a great post that pays our military tribute.

    Yes, we do have veterans amongst the Seekers and most definitely their families. My niece and nephews have served, my brother served in Vietnam, my husband was in Cuban crisis, my father-n-law was a prisoner of war in Korea and also served in WWII, my father served in WWII and my uncle died on Iwo Jima.

    So yes, we must thank all of these people for serving and sacrificing so that we can maintain the freedoms that we enjoy. It is so humbling to realize that in many countries they don't have the freedom to worship our Lord openly. What a blessing that is for us.

    Thanks again Tricia. Enjoy your day here.

  25. Thank you Tricia, for your kindness to our amazing veterans!

    And veterans and families (several of you are right here in Seekerville) we thank you thank you thank you.

    Is there a parade downtown today? May and I are ready!!!

  26. Good idea, KC, we need to start planning parades! In the meantime there are two nice opportunities on the Seekerville web page for books and entry fee reimbursement.

  27. Beautiful, Tricia. Loved this post, and I'm trying to swallow down the lump in my throat as I consider your words.

    I am blessed to be married to a military man, now retired. His brothers and father also served. My father served in the Navy and his father also fought in WW1. I never knew him but I have a picture of him in a POW camp.

    You're right. There are so many stories. I'm going to have to pray over these valiant men in my life, and be sure to thank them for all they've done.

    I loved reading the snippets of the letters you saw. Absolutely priceless. Thanks for sharing your heart over here today.

  28. Virginia, what a fun story of your grandparents' love story. I'm so glad you shared.

    Thanks to all of you sharing your stories. God truly has blessed us as a country with selfless people who are willing (and do) to sacrifice all.

  29. Would love to read this book... A special thanks today to my brother who served in the Air Force!


  30. Reading everyone's memories about the veterans in their families humbles me! What a wonderful legacy!

    I was raised in one of the historic "peace" churches (think Amish, Mennonite, etc.), and never really knew anyone who was connected with the military until we lived in Abilene TX and some of our best friends were B1B pilots. That's where my respect for the military started, and it just keeps growing.

    One of my sons is in ROTC and plans on making the Army his career. Yes, the pacifists in my family are dealing with it, but I'm so stinkin' proud of him I could bust!

    Thank you to all of our Seekerville veterans!

    I'll volunteer to help with the Army float for the parade. Who wants to work on the ones for the other branches?

  31. Tricia,

    Thank you for such a lovely tribute to our Veterans.

    What a blessing for you and those Veterans you've interviewed to have the opportunity to share their story.

    I'll definitely be getting REMEMBERING YOU.

    From the bottom of my heart I thank all Veterans here today, those special men and women still on world watch today, and the spouses who hold down the fort at home!!! God Bless You All!


  32. Hey, I'll help with any float necessary. My sister was an Air Force Captain, so how 'bout if I help with that one first?

    And Sean was marines... Only part of the reason I love GIBBS! ;)

  33. Tricia - I KNEW your name was familiar, but I couldn't place it last night (too close to bedtime, I guess).

    I haven't read any of your books dealing with WWII, but reviewed "Beside Still Waters" back in July and its sequel, "Along Wooded Paths" is on my "to buy" list.

    It's way past time for me to catch up on your other books!

  34. Dear Tricia:
    You are a wonderful lady. These World War II Vets need to be listened to and their stories told. Every day the obituaries sadly host more of their passing. They were truly "The Greatest Generation", and I feel small in the august company of giants.

    My father and father-in-law both served, having experienced campaigns in North Africa, D-Day-Normandy, D-day Southern France, Italy and onto Okinawa in the Pacific. To experience things through their eyes is awe-inspiring. Like your experience with John, my father-in-law often recanted how he opened up Stuttgart Concentration Camp. Despite the passing of many years, the sights, sounds, smells and feel of war remains.

  35. Tricia, thank you so much for being with us today and sharing some of the your letters. So amazing. So touching! I can just imagine what a joy it was to write your stories with these letters in your mind.

    A big thank you today to all our veterans!

  36. What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  37. I know lots of people who serve/d in the military but very few family. Dad was enlisting in Viet Nam but was randomly chosen for a more extensive physical. On the very long questionnaire was something about sleep walking. Which he had done. And they decided they didn't want him.

    My father-in-law and step-father-in-law [born on the same DAY no less] both served in the Navy.

    DH's best friend had his week of leave after boot camp the week BEFORE our wedding. He was a Marine [okay - once a Marine always a Marine] who became a dental hygeinist [don't ask me a. how to spell it or b. why] in the Army Reserves and I forget which reserves he's in now.

    My cousin-in-law [who I've never met] is active Army.

    I'm sure there's others but I'm blanking. I tagged a bunch of people who serve/d and their spouses. And I've commented 3xs on my own status to add more people to the list :p. I have to do that every time because I always forget SOMEONE. This time one, at least, was because I forgot he spells his name Jayson not Jason and he didn't pop up on my list of people to tag...

    It's writing day for me here. I'm off to post Tricia's blog on Pentalk and then earbuds are going in and I'm headed to the CANDID Conference in Flagstaff. Imaginarily speaking of course. ;)

  38. I can't wait to read this book. Whether I win a copy or have to buy one of my own. My uncle was only 22 when he died in WWII. I never knew him, but heard wonderful stories of him. Thank you for remembering those who served.

  39. Tricia, Welcome to Seekerville! Thank you for your words and your books that honor our veterans and kindle patriotism. God bless you with your stories.

    A huge thanks to all the veterans, not only on this day but every day. We would not be free without your sacrifice.


  40. I would love to sit and talk with an older person about life. They're so full of wisdom.

  41. Tricia, what a lovely tribute! This past year while working on a manuscript, I did a lot of reading and research about the Great War (WWI), and also watched several movies and documentaries covering those devastating years.

    It's nearly impossible for anyone who hasn't experienced war firsthand to fully comprehend the horrors our military have faced and continue to face, the incredible sacrifices they make in serving our country and protecting freedom for everyone.

    As for the veterans in my family, my grandfather served in the Great War, my brother-in-law served in Viet Nam, a nephew is currently deployed in Afghanistan, and another brother-in-law is retired Navy. Also my husband's uncle lost his life at Monte Casino in WWII.

    I pray for the day when all wars will cease and nations can live in peace with one another.

  42. I got so caught up in the wonderful stories and comments last night I forgot to enter.

    I would love to win the book.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

  43. Tricia is a busy gal today, she has several Veteran's Day radio interviews going on, but we hope she will stop by and visit.

    In the meantime, thank you to all my fellow Vets past and present for what you do to provide us the freedom to carry a Bible, a simple freedom we take for granted.

    Tina Radcliffe

  44. Tricia, this sounds like another great book from you! I love to read WW11 stories because my father and two uncles served and had lots of tales to tell.

    Tina and I are the two vets. (Helen got that!) I was a Naval officer for 8 years and my husband is a retired Navy commander and pilot. We met at Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego a very long time ago!

  45. In the tradition of showing appreciation today, I'd like to thank Tina and Cara Lynn for their service to our country.

    I've been doing a lot of research on veterans for my current book and it's made me very conscious of the sacrifices - many of them invisible.

    From the bottom of this patriot's heart, thank you.

  46. TRICIA!!! Welcome to Seekerville! Awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing. I'd LOVE a copy of your book, so please add me to the drawing. :D

    Love those letter excerpts! How touching and eye-opening. Wow! Thank you!

  47. Tricia,
    You've brought back memories of what my father told me about the war.

    God bless John and all our wonderful Veterans! PA, near Carlisle.

    I'm hugging my hubby and calling my son. Praying for all our military, active duty and retired, those who have gone before us and those who are still with us.

    Thank you, all!!!

    Love the cover for your new book. It's on my must-buy list! Thanks for touching me deeply on this very special Veteran's Day.

  48. Nice to see ya Tricia and to read the letters from the vet you met, reading them today is esp nice. I would love to be in the drawing for your book, looks like a great read.
    Thanks Paula O(

  49. Tricia, wonderful to see you here on Veterans Day. I've enjoyed many of your novels set in the WWII era and can appreciate all the research that went into each. I enjoy talking with the older Vets and appreciate their willingness to share their stories. I agree that the best ones are those buried deep in the heart. Thank you for sharing those deeply buried stories through your novels. I sent this link to my online WWII research buddies. Love to be entered in the drawing for Remembering You.

  50. By default, Cara and Jim get to do the Navy float.

    (saluting you from afar!)

    First snowflakes here along the shores of Lake Ontario today...

    The first snow is always exciting.

    The last????

    A scar on a weary spirit.

    But between then and now, I'm planning on some sledding with the babies!

  51. Hi Tina:

    I don’t think you had me in mind when you said two Seekers were vets. Maybe I comment too much. : )

    I didn’t know about Cara. She has been very quiet.

    I do think it would be nice if Debby would post her “A Prayer for our Military” here today. I could not find it on her website but she sent me a copy and I did quote it on Amber’s “Seasons of Humility” site in the comments today. I hope that was all right for just this one time.

    I’ve known dozens of real WWII heroes. I still see them all the time at the VA. And I think I should point out that so many of them will not talk about the war. It is just too painful. That was a total war. Please go easy on them if you want to ask questions.

    Of all my relatives who were in WWII combat, I do not have one story to tell. So few WWII vets wanted to think about that war that it took years to even get a WWII monument. This was not out of disrespect for their service; it was out of respect for their feelings.

    Since I’m not a war hero, I’ll tell you a funny story. I was on post, with my K-9 dog Scout, (134 pounds) guarding the most important asset on the Air Base: the mission aircraft. It was 1966 and it was night and very dark. About a hundred yards away was a fence and on the other side was an Italian’s farm. (Way too close to the mission, IMHmilitaryO!)

    All of a sudden I heard three shots and I could hear the bullets skipping along the ground within feet of me any my dog. I remember thinking at the time, “I didn’t know you could actually hear the bullets landing.” Scout altered and I radioed in that we were under attack. The command center was ready to call a base alter and send all of the bases in Europe on alter as well. We were about a minute from it. (We had had sabotage on the base the month before.)

    Finally the Italian police showed up outside the fence and arrested an Italian hunter who was poaching. I had almost sent NATO on alert! Talk about a career ended. : )

    I could just see my mother getting a telegram:

    We are sorry to inform you that your son was killed by an Italian hunter who thought he was a rabbit.

    That’s my true and honest ‘war’ story.

    Best wishes and prayers to all the real war heroes.


    P.S. Tricia: I’d love to win a copy of your book! But why are you going to give two copies to one person? How about one copy to two people? : )

    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

  52. Sounds like a great book...appropriate for today! I love the idea for this story...a great way to remember and appreciate those who have given up so much:)
    Would love to be entered for a chance to win!

    lornafaith at gmail dot com

  53. What a moving tribute. Your words remind us of the importance of taking the time to listen whenever we have the chance.

    Before he died, I had the privilege of getting close to a World War II Vet who had married into my mother's family. A widower, he had bought and moved into the house where he was born back in my old hometown.

    He had cancer. On our long drives to the nearest veteran's hospital, he freely answered the questions I asked. He spoke of his role in the war and told the beautiful story of his and my aunt's love for one another. He, too, wouldn't marry before he left for the war for fear he might not return and and leave his young wife on her own with a child to support.

    He became a part of our family. As we came to know him, we grew to love and respect him. I wish we'd had more time.

    My family is full of vets, husband included. Nephews and children of friends now serve. I appreciate them as well as all those who unselfishly serve to make our homes safer and our lives better. I must remember to tell them more often.

    Your book is now on my must read list. Because of the Seekers and their outstanding guests, that list has grown quite long.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of your novel. Please enter my name in the drawing.


  54. Vince, that's a hilarious story! So glad it ended well!! :)

  55. Oh my, TRICIA, I'm late to the party, but that in NO way diminishes the tears in my eyes right now, dear friend.

    WHAT AN INCREDIBLE BLOG you have gifted us with today!! And what an INCREDIBLE gift with which God has blessed you! Not only to be called to write memorial novels to honor the men and women who sacrificed for our country, but to be blessed with friendships with many of them as well.

    I was deeply touched by your entire blog today, but especially the line: "What I didn't expect was how I would be inspired."

    How like our God to call us to reach out to others and then reach out to us as well. Nothing one way about Him, that's for sure!

    Thank you for coming to Seekerville today, Tricia, and I pray for God's abundant blessings on your books and your life.


  56. Okay that's my error, Vince.


    I am running for cover. Grammar Queen has just taken out her yardstick and I see a slap on my knuckles in my future.

    Tina Radcliffe

  57. HA! VINCE you got me again. Zing!!!

    I meant Cara and I.

    But of course you are Seeker family so we so include you!!

    Tina Radcliffe

  58. Thank you, Tina, Cara and Vince for your service to our country! And thank you to all of those military families!!

  59. I've been enjoying reading everyone's very personal posts. We owe such a debt of gratitude to our military and their families. Thanks everyone for sharing. I've been swept up in other things lately and this discussion puts some of that other stuff into perspective.


  60. To add to the WWII stories -

    My MIL's cousin was killed in France on August 13, 1944, after having landed in Normandy on D-Day, and I have copies of the correspondence between his mother and the army about his remains.

    Her words were "let him be buried in France, with the men he fought and died with". His name was Alwood Brier, and he left a young widow, but no children. There is no one left living in his immediate family - no siblings, nieces or nephews, even. No one remembers him except my MIL and her other still-living cousin.

    Fast forward 60 years - as a result of my research on, I am in touch with a Belgian family who volunteers to tend to his grave. This man and his family visit Alwood's grave on a regular basis and remember him for those who can't.

    It humbles me to hear of their devotion to a stranger who gave his life for all of us.

  61. A Prayer for our Military

    Lord, protect our military deployed around the world. Be their armor of righteousness as they stand firm against the enemy. Keep them physically, mentally and spiritually strong. Comfort them in times of hardship, and bring them safely home to the families that eagerly await their return.

    Thanks, Vince, for mentioning the prayer.

  62. Vince, I agree about asking questions. My grandfather wouldn't go to 4th of July celebrations because the booms gave him flashbacks. Some want to share, and some don't want to revisit that time.

    Also, anybody read 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society'? one of my very favorite books and is about the occupation of the Guernsey Islands during WWII and after. A beautiful love story (of course!) to boot. It made me cackle with laughter the first time I read it. Genius.

  63. Jan, wow. Just... WOW. I didn't know there were people who would do that! And now, there ar more here who will remember Alwood Brier (what a gorgeous name, too).

  64. Tricia, THANK YOU so much for this post today. So timely, especially since I just returned from our local Veterans Day service here.

    My great-grandfather was a doughboy in WWI, and my grandfather was part of the occupation Army in Italy after WWII. He was in boot camp when the war ended, so he never saw combat.

    As part of my job as a journalist, I have been privileged to interview several veterans over the years for articles. Many of them have written their experiences down in binders and notebooks, to preserve their memories for their families after they are gone, which I think is a lovely idea.

    This year, I interviewed an 87-year-old woman who was in the Navy WAVES, who worked in the Naval Communications Annex in Washington D.C., typing up intercepted messages from the Japanese. She said that they were all under order to not tell anyone about their work, or they would be shot.

    A few years ago, I also interviewed a WWII vet who was part of the group that liberated Dachau. He said the smells and the sights he saw are still with him today.

    Happy Veterans Day to everyone, and may we remember and honor their service everyday!

  65. Virginia, I LOVE that story about your grandparents!

    I feel like all of us have some real-life inspiration for some very beautiful war stories...

    Also, please enter me in the drawing for the book. As my husband can attest, I have a shelf full of WWII books, because it's one of my favorite eras to read about.

  66. Welcome Tricia, and thank you for sharing with us today. Your book sounds so heartfelt and I'm sure it will touch many lives. How special you have that friendship with John! I'm sure you must be like sunshine in his life. (I've always had a special place in my heart for elderly folks). ~ Today I'm remembering my precious Daddy (now in Heaven) who proudly served his country in the Air Force (Korean War and WWII). And I'm so very thankful to ALL our Veterans--past and present--who have served our great country. ~ Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo p.s. I brought along a warm pound cake, topped with Georgia peaches and whipped cream. Enjoy! ;)

  67. I see in my earlier comment, I forgot to say a heartfelt thank you to Tina, Cara and Vince for their service to our country. My community has many Veterans and there's always a remembrance ceremony around the cenotaph in the park across from my home.

  68. What a beautiful mission you've taken on. I love the sound of this book. I'll be sure to buy enough Kleenex for when I read it.
    Thanks for sharing and honoring our vets.
    Jackie Layton

  69. Vince - that's a great story! So glad NATO didn't end up on alert ;).

    Jan - that story gave me chills.

    And if you want another one that will, check out Tricia's blog on Pentalk today.

    Love love love seeing all the touching tributes/pics on Facebook today. Wish we did that more often. And wish I'd remember to tag EVERYone I know is military/military spouse.

    Thank you again, Vince, Cara, Tina and all the others.

    Freedom isn't free.

    And oh my. I need Kleenex. "Letters from War" just came on in my randomly selected playlist...

    Gotta go cry now...

  70. This comment has been removed by the author.

  71. Wow - look at all the comments! Love it. I'll start reading them now.

  72. What I meant to say ... Love this post - gives me goosebumps.

  73. Hi friends, Sorry I didn't chime in sooner. I've in in Florida, Minnesota, Seattle, Texas and many other places today doing radio interviews for Veteran's Day (all from the comfort of my home)! I had a great time talking to the radio hosts and sharing stories!! Heading over to read all your notes now!

  74. Sally, I agree it WOULD make a great movie! There is actually a production company that was considering it. Prayers for that would be SO appreciated! And I'm thrilled you enjoyed From Dust and Ashes!

  75. An inspiring post Tricia,
    Please enter me in your drawing. I would love to win!


  76. Carol, yes, I'm over at Pentalk, too. And [in]courage and MomLife Today. It's been waaay too fun celebrating my favorite veterans!

    Lyndee, Many of the veterans I've interviewed have passed away too. I'm SO thankful I was able to capture there stories before they did. What makes me sad is to think of all the men and women who died with stories yet untold.

  77. That's so cool that there are veteran's among us! Thank you for your service!

  78. Jan, if you head over to my novel Songbird Under a German Moon is a FREE Kindle download right now. And if you don't have a Kindle you can download it on your PC or Mac. :) Enjoy!

    Also, Remembering You is a contemporary story with the historical tie in. It's the first I've done like this. Most novels I write are historical. I love writing them!

  79. So many husbands, fathers, mothers, daughters, grandfathers, son who are serving! Veteran's Day is also a celebration of the families who sacrifice their time with these great people.

  80. I wanted to mention, too, that if you have a WWII story that you'd like to share write it up and email to ... if I use it on my blog I'll send you a free book!

  81. Patti Jo, I want some of that cake!! My sweet grandpa who was in WWII passed away in 1999, sadly before I had a chance to hear any of his stories. I hope storytime in heaven is allowed. I'm sure all the God stories there will amaze us! :)

  82. Stephanie, my favorite time to read about is WWII too!

    Mary, that's awesome you're teaching younger generations to thank veterans!!

  83. Christina, You brought a HUGE smile to my face!! That's exciting about your daughter too. I am JUST to thankful for how Jesus has transformed my life I love inspiring and encouraging others!

  84. Ausjenny, that's awesome about the mustache! LOL. I can picture that now!

  85. Virgina, do you have those letters????? I LOVE that story!! I think that would make an amazing novel!

  86. I loved the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society! Great book! I was interviewing a veteran once when a server dropped a tray behind him. He hit the floor. I felt SO bad!! Yes, those experiences impacted them greatly.

  87. Jan, your story about Alwood Brier brings tears to my eyes. That no one is left in his family. That few stateside remember him. How sweet that the Lord saw fit to have his grave tended by a Belgian family.

    BTW, I really like your new picture. :)

  88. I've always loved Tricia's books, and this one sounds so very special. What a great way to celebrate Veteran's Day! My Dad served in WW2 in the Army Air Corp in the Pacific. He has gone on to heaven, but I am so thankful for his love and faithful service. My son Ben is now a US Marine who has been to Iraq and also Africa as a US Embassy security guard. I am so very proud of Him and thankful that God has used him and protected him.
    Thanks for writing this book, Tricia, and for sharing these stories. I will look forward to reading it!
    Blessings, Carrie

  89. Hi Tricia:

    I just downloaded “Songbird Under a German Moon” for my Kindle. I’m already a winner! Thanks for the heads-up.

    Have you read “Love & War in the Apennines” by Eric Newby? It’s about a Brit flyer, 1943, POW, who escapes from his hospital and for months the local Italians risk their lives hiding him from the Germans. He’s moved from place to place. (No local wants to hold him for very long – but for just a day or two is OK) A local woman works wonders to help him get back to England alive. After the war he comes back to Italy and marries her.

    A true story. A perfect romance with a HEA , a wonderful sequel (“A Small Place in Italy”) and it’s true.


  90. Jan, that is an AMAZING story about Alwood. I have a Belgian historian friends and many Belgian families are dedicated to caring for those graves. They're so thankful!

    It also reminds me of a funny story. When the men were on the lines they would dig slit trenches for the troops' use. They would fill in these trenches when they left. Well, one group left their position and moved again but a man realized he forgot his extra pair of boots. He returned and Belgian families were gathered around the slit trench. They'd laid down evergreen branches and were praying around it. They thought it was a grave! He tried to explain but he knew they didn't understand. He said he made him grateful, though, that if he did lose his life there he would be mourned.

  91. Vince, I love your TRUE war story!! That's great!!

  92. Vince, I just put those books by Eric Newby in my Amazon shopping cart. They sound GREAT!

    Carrie, it's great to see you here!

    Wow, I've fallen in love with Seekerville!

  93. Tricia - we hope you make Seekerville a regular stop in your busy day!

    Thanks for the heads up on your free Kindle book - it's downloaded and in the queue.

    And I loved your story about the misunderstood grave...those poor people...

    Jeanne T. - I'm glad you like my new picture. It was taken at the top of Harney Peak - highest point between the Rockies and the Pyrenees. It was my goal to get to the top this year :)

  94. Tricia, we have the article and photo taken for the paper. oh it doesn't mention his nickname. Years later like about 1973 Dad was in hospital and we had had a visiting speaker. The person he was staying with took him up to the hospital to see one of the people in dads ward and he saw dad and said Tojo They had been in the same unit. Dad got elevated in this other guys eyes after that.

  95. Jan, I just subscribed to the feed. I didn't realize I was missing all the fun!

    AusJenny, that's great that they remembered!

  96. I'm thankful Tricia has documented these stories from veterans. My dad, uncles,some cousins, and brother are all veterans. My nephew will be a Marine after high school graduation. I am thankful for their service, along with so many more.
    Though Tricia's books are fiction, they play an important part in keeping this history alive. I'd be very pleased to win a copy of her book.

  97. Sounds like a wonderful book Tricia! My father served in WWII and I miss hearing his stories.

  98. Tricia, they did keep all the letters, but no one was able to read them until after they both were gone. :)

    There was a lot of newsy stuff, some gushy stuff, and some 'my granny wouldn't say that kind of thing' stuff! :D I saw them about ten years ago (my sister was archiving them) and what I noticed was the chemistry equations they would sprinkle in here and there, or math problems, sort of like Sunday puzzlers. They did that at the dinner table, too and I never knew what they were talking about.

    One more thing, my grandmother worked in a lab during wartime researching burns and how best to heal them. They used somethng close to the chemical bombs the Germans were dropping (incindiary and such) on ANIMALS and the tried to heal them. My grandmother didn't talk about it much but said it was hell on earth in there. She lost her sense of smell after a few years in the lab and we never knew if it was psychological or a chemical issue.

  99. Thanks for stopping by today Tricia and thank you for this wonderful salute to Veterans Day.

  100. What an interesting and touching premise for a book. I can just imagine the thrill of opening the bubble envelope and savoring the contents.

    I see that "Remembering You" is not available as an ebook yet, hope that it will be soon.

    Please enter me in the draw, I'd love to win a copy. Many thanks

  101. I'm ashamed to say that normally the topic wouldn't appeal to me to buy as a fiction book BUT after reading the letters and seeing the picture of you and John, it touched my heart and this book is now on my TBR list whether I win it or not. What a touching, kind thing you did with your talent.

  102. I've made an effort to interview WWII vets as much as possible in my newspaper and magazine writing. I just met a 88-yr-old man who lives near me and is the recipient of 2 Purple Hearts. He lives in a humble home w/ his wife and they have 6 children. His story just came out in print locally and I'm glad to be able to give him credit for his bravery.

  103. What a thought-provoking post, Tricia--especially on this day to honor our veterans. I've interviewed veterans, too, and visited concentration camps in France and Germany. Those experiences changed the way I look at everything. Thank you for listening to and telling the stories of these brave men. What a gift to them--and what a gift to you! I'm looking forward to reading your book!

  104. Tricia, it was so wonderful to find a post by you here at Seekerville. I always love reading what you write, for I know it comes from your heart. Thank you for sharing bits of your friend John's letters. :) What special friends you've made! God bless you. And God bless our soldiers -- past & present. Thank you.

  105. It was great connecting with all of you!!