After publishing my first book, A Healing Place and my second, Blessed Are the Merciful, it has been my honor to speak with many active duty military personnel as well as veterans and their family members. Many have called me and told me that they appreciated my books, especially the veterans of WWII. Sadly, we lose so many of them every day.

I think it is important to thank those family members and veterans of WWII as soon as possible, while we have a chance!

I’ve had sisters and brothers who lost their siblings in the Philippines, many on The Death March, some in the Japanese POW camps who have called me. We lost 9 out every 10 Japanese POWs in WWII because they were beaten, killed, or starved to death. The ones lived through the war often died of debilitating illnesses connected to the untreated tropical diseases or starvation while in captivity.

We cannot let WWII and Korean veterans know too soon how much we appreciate their sacrifices. To the family members, we also owe deep gratitude.

The stories they tell are often heartbreaking but also inspiring. Too many times, we take the freedom we enjoy as American citizens for granted. Our freedom was won at a terrible cost and still is.

Our men and women who are currently serving in the military also protect our freedom every day they serve. The fact that they conduct themselves with dignity and courage while wearing their uniforms is a testament to the heroic American spirit.

Thank you,

Joyce Shaughnessy

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