The San Joaquin Valley’s rich history of courage, military service, duty and honor is preserved for future generations in Fresno author Janice Stevens’ new book “Stories of Service, Volume II: Valley Veterans Remember World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War” (Craven Street Books, November 2011).
You can meet Stevens at book signings this weekend:
—Friday, Nov. 11, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building, 808 4th Street in Clovis, as part of a full day of Veterans Day commemorations by the Clovis Veterans Memorial District. This event will include a presentation of copies of “Stories of Service, Volume II” to the veterans who contributed to the book.
—Saturday, Nov. 12, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Fig Garden Bookstore in Fig Garden Village, 5084 N. Palm Ave.
“Stories of Service, Volume II” is a fascinating sequel to Stevens’ 2007 book “Stories of Service: Valley Veterans Remember World War II.” Stevens’ new book records one hundred personal memoirs in which ordinary soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians from the Valley tell in their own words their experiences during a quarter century of armed conflict.
From Pearl Harbor to D-Day, Inchon, the Mekong Delta, Checkpoint Charlie and the Cuban Missile Crisis, “Stories of Service, Volume II” tells intensely personal stories of harrowing combat, separation from loved ones, survival in POW camps, boredom, fear, bravery, victory and returning home — plus all the bizarre, incongruous and humorous events of wartime and military service.
“Stories of Service, Volume II” includes amazing war memoirs from veterans such as:
—Navy veteran Richie Richardson survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor … but nearly lost an arm after a simple truck accident in New Guinea.
—Army veteran Paul Petredis, who was the only U.S. soldier to escape from North Korean captivity during the Korean War.
—Marine Corps veteran Bill Helton, whose Guantanamo Bay garrison took part in a little-known operation during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
—Valley resident Sing Houngviengkham, who escaped Communist dictatorship in Laos and refugee camps in Thailand to come to the United States.
And many more stories of men and women who endured the hardest — and most glorious — moments of the twentieth century. “Stories of Service, Volume II” is the perfect gift for veterans, children of veterans, lovers of history and every Valley resident who respects the men and women who fought for America’s freedom.
More about Janice Stevens:
Janice Stevens is an author and creative writing instructor based in Fresno, California. Her two books of military memoirs, “Stories of Service: Valley Veterans Remember World War II” and “Stories of Service, Volume II: Valley Veterans Remember World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War” grew from Stevens’ class in memoir writing for veterans held at the Clovis Veterans Memorial Building. Stevens was inducted to the Clovis Hall of Fame in 2010 in honor of her work with veterans. Stevens has also written several books on art, architecture and history in collaboration with Fresno artist Pat Hunter, including “Fresno's Architectural Past, Volume I,” “Fresno's Architectural Past, Volume II,” “William Saroyan: Places in Time” and “Remembering the California Missions,” all available from Craven Street Books. In 2010, Stevens and Hunter received the Native Daughters of the Golden West Image Award, in recognition of their outstanding work on “Remembering the California Missions.”
Title: Stories of Service, Volume II: Valley Veterans Remember World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War
Author: Janice Stevens
Publisher: Craven Street Books, an imprint of Linden Publishing
Publication: November 2011, $24.95 ($27.95 Canada)
History/Regional/West, ISBN 978-1-610350-05-1
Hardcover, 7" x 10", 244 pages, 40 historical photos
Available from bookstores, online booksellers and Craven Street Books (1-800-345-4447)