Back home, Ben's family coped with economics, emotional stress, and fear of the unthinkable as they waited in terror for the news of Ben's assignment to the next island invasion. But, a half-a-world away, like Luther Billis in Michener's Tales of the South Pacific, Ben used his maturity and experience to adapt to both the absurdities and opportunities of military life. He learned how to work the "system"-to save his skin for his family's sake-and to eke meaningful service to his country out of his chaotic situation. It is a story that, like war itself, reveals both the universal and the intensely person elements of survival, love, and sacrifice while serving self, family, and country in ways and circumstances that none involved had ever dreamed possible. This book is a chronicle of discovery in the World War II experiences of Ben Green, but creating it was also a journey of discovery for the author, Through the experience of writing and researching this book, Ben's son learned that a father he had respected but never fully understood, nor knew how to love, had, indeed, been his mentor and his best friend.
Based on the letters and writings of the author's parents, two talented journalists who wrote each other daily, as filtered through his own family experience, this narrative describes one family's struggle when swept along in the tides of the world's biggest war. The book is further documented by his mother's biographical script for a 48th "This Is Your Life" surprise birthday party for Ben. Also included are six humorous, short sketches, worthy of Mac Hyman's No Time for Sergeants, entitled, My War with the United States Marines, that Ben Green wrote and presented to the Chicago Literary Club in 1965. It is also viewed, first by the author as a six-year-old, and then from his contemporary perspective as a survivor of the mayhem. The book is illustrated with Ben's own drawings, included in his letters home. Part of Our American Voices Series
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