Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Sentry, November 2011

Spot the incoming new books on military history, particularly those providing context for the library's Veterans History Project.

If you see a book that looks good, click on "Check Our Catalog" and place a hold. We will let you know when it comes for you!

When We Walked Above the Clouds: A Memoir of VietnamBy Barnes, H. Lee
2011-09 - University of Nebraska Press

There is the mythology of the Green Berets, of their clandestine, special operations as celebrated in story and song. And then there is the reality of one soldier's experience, the day-to-day loss and drudgery of a Green Beret such as H. Lee Barnes, whose story conveys the daily grind and quiet desperation behind polished-for-public-consumption accounts of military heroics. In "When We Walked Above the Clouds, " Barnes tells what it was like to be a Green Beret, first in the Dominican Republic during the civil war of 1965, and then at A-107, Tra Bong, Vietnam. …More

The Sword of St. Michael: The 82nd Airborne Division in World War II
By Lofaro, Guy
2011-08 - Da Capo Press

We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People
By Van Buren, Peter
2011-09 - Metropolitan Books

In this shocking and darkly hilarious expose of the reconstruction of post-Saddam Iraq, former State Department team leader Van Buren describes the tragicomedy that has been American efforts at nation building, marked by bizarre decisions and wrongheaded priorities.

Afghanistan: Graveyard of Empires: A New History of the Borderlands
By Isby, David
2010-04 - Pegasus Books

This illuminating history of modern Afghanistan, written by a veteran defenseanalyst, details the complex story of a country caught in a vortex of terror.448 pp.

Eden to Armageddon: World War I in the Middle East
By Ford, Roger
2010-05 - Pegasus Books
9781605980911 Check Our Catalog

In this epic account of World War I in the Middle East, Ford presents the complete story of the invasion of the Garden of Eden that ended with a momentous victory on the site of the biblical Armageddon and the creation of Iran and Iraq.

Carrier: A Century of First-Hand Accounts of Naval Operations in War and Peace
By Hood, Jean
2011-02 - Conway Maritime Press

The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys: Courage, Tragedy, and Justice in World War II
By Freeman, Gregory A.
2011-05 - Palgrave MacMillan

Military historian Gregory A. Freeman brings to life for the first time the dramatic story of a young American bomber crew that was forced to bail out over Germany in August 1944. After landing, they were captured and lynched in a two-hour assault by local townspeople who had fallen prey to the worst impulses of the ravages of war. The families of these airmen were never told what actually happened to their loved ones and the few survivors had to carry this burden alone for years. After the war, a highly dramatic trial took place in the German town, forcing the locals to confront their wartime atrocity. Drawing from government archives, photos, trial records, interviews with family members, and letters home from the crew, Freeman creates a vivid narrative of the dramatic event and follows the survivors’ moving, sometimes heartrending, efforts to understand how good men could die in such a terrible way and how those left behind are supposed to go on.

Black Sheep: The Life of Pappy Boyington
By Wukovits, John F.
2011-06 - US Naval Institute Press

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Library Board President's Remarks at 5th Annual VHP Breakfast

Barbara Nakashini, the President of the Board of the Niles Public Library District, speaks to the veterans and guests as she shares her family's participation in World War II. Her father, Harry Gembala, is a Veteran,who served in the Army with the Occupation Forces in Japan for a year just after World War II. Her Uncle Walter, who was in the audience, served with the Army in the Battle of the Bulge and was awarded a Bronze Star.

Her father-in-law, Masahe Nakanishi, now deceased, was part of the Army’s 442nd Combat Regimental Team unit, which was comprised entirely of Japanese-Americans. He, along with thousands of Japanese-Americans, had been removed from their homes in California and placed in interment camps. He joined the Army and fought in Europe with the famed 442 whose famous motto was "Go for Broke."

She called attention to the ceremony held that very day in Washington when Congress would award its highest civilian honor to the Japanese-American soldiers who fought in World War II. Dozens of the veterans, known as Nisei, a Japanese term for children born with American citizenship, were at the Capitol to receive the Congressional Gold Medal for their service in the war. The medal is the highest civilian award given by Congress. Her husband Joe's two brothers represented the family at the ceremony.

Mrs. Nakanishi provided these two pictures of the hard-earned medal.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fifth Annual Veterans History Project Breakfast Wednesday, November 2, 2011

34 veterans can be viewed in this year's official picture, taken by Sasha Vasilic, the Publicity and Graphic Design Coordinator of the Niles Library.

The veterans appearing in the picture are from left to right sitting in the first row: Gus Habighurst, Bernard Warchol, Bill Shipp, Martha Shipp, Donald Spitzer, Arthur Shapiro, Irv Blaszynski, and Mike Kozyra. In the second row from left to right are: Walter Gembala, Niels H.K. Larsen, Leonard DeFabio, Walter Tymczuk, John McCann, Matthew Wojtaszek, Max Kolpas, Judith Carlson (for Norman Berkman), Sam Schechter, and Irv Abramson. In the third row from left to right are: Robert Morris, Kenneth Radnitzer, David Shugan, Jack Weinberg, Charles Matz, Harry Webber, Jerry Levin, and Russell Zapel. In the fourth row standing from left to right are: Charles Borowsky, Robert Lavery, John Bugajsky, Chuck Jacobs, Matthew Potoczek, Mike McNulty, Rich Hyland, Marty O'Malley, Richard Vana, and Tom Vana. Present but not in the picture was Albert Dominick.

The delicious breakfast was arranged by the Library's Marketing Director, Sue Wilsey, who worked in concert with with the generous Regency Rehabilitation Center of Niles . Caryl Kiser, the Regency's Director of Marketing, and her assistant Grace Nowakowski pitched in to help serve the breakfast for the 35 veterans and their guests and 29 Niles Library patrons as 79 people in all attended the breakfast. The food and beverage service at the breakfast was coordinated by the library's Cyndi Rademacher.

Linda Weiss, the Director of the Niles Public Library, and Barbara Nakanishi, President of the Niles Library Board of Trustees, welcomed and congratulated the special guests. Mrs. Weiss announced a donation of $500 from the library and the Friends of the Library to the Honor Flight Chicago Program. Chris Hanusiak, the President of the Friends and a veterans sent his warm wishes to the day's honorees. Veterans Rich Hyland and Marty O'Malley of the Silver Helmet-winning AMVETS Post #18 spoke about the AMVETS work to establish the Honor Flight in Chicago. The Legacy Girls as the Andrews Sisters provided the knock-out entertainment to conclude the successful event.

Mr. Vasilic's post of the "5th Annual Veterans Breakfast" to TribLocal was selected to lead Niles's local coverage.

Preparing for 5th Annual Veterans History Project Breakfast

Banners which literally voice the memoirs of service contributed by local veterans have been affixed to the walls of the auditorium in preparation for the special event. The cover pages of the interview transcripts of the veterans appear across six of the colorful banners.