31 May, 2010
27 May, 2010
This month is military appreciation month, I hope you realize the sacrifices that these brave men and women fought for you. They have died for you and all they want is to be remembered. Please remember them...
For all of those who have served to protect this country...THANK YOU!!!! We love you and God Bless you!
26 May, 2010
Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine standing outside the oxygen tent. He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his
toughened fingers around the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.
The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit besidethe bed. All through the night the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man's hand and offering him words of love and strength. Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.
He refused. Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital - the clanking of the oxygen tank, the laughter of the night staff members exchanging greetings, the cries and moans of the other patients.
Now and then she heard him say a few gentle words. The dying man said nothing, only held tightly to his son all through the night.
Along towards dawn, the old man died. The Marine released the now lifeless hand he had been holding and went to tell the nurse. While she did what she had to do, he waited. Finally, she returned. She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.
"Who was that man?" he asked.
The nurse was startled, "He was your father," she answered.
"No, he wasn't," the Marine replied. "I never saw him before in my life."
"Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?"
"I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn't here. When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed."
The next time someone needs you just be there. Stay.
We are not human beings going through a temporary spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings going through a temporary human experience.
24 May, 2010
I have been listening to this song most of the afternoon yesterday and I HAD to post it today. I love this song, it has been around since WWII and is still the song for the Airborne today....
(If you don't like cursing, don't watch it...)
21 May, 2010
19 May, 2010
17 May, 2010
We got back from the Lunch Bunch and I just couldn’t believe all that had happened. I guess I was in a bit of a daze just trying to wrap my mind around it all. And with all I experienced in such a little amount of time, it was a lot!!!!
Dad and I watched some footage of the 101st preparing for D-Day. With that alone, I couldn’t believe the bloopers, I myself who is not a historian, that the mini-series Band of Brothers had! I still watch the series every time it’s on, because the acting is great!!! It’s not the same, not after knowing what went on behind the scenes. I looked at some more albums, with the 1st Battalion, I believe. Then Mr. Bando asked if I was interested in meeting Mr. Don Burgett……I was unable to meet Mr. Burgett, a
I know I didn’t say much to Mr. Burgett, but I was rather anxious yet again. Most are anxious when meeting an actor, rock star, etc…these men are my heroes!!!! My dad was able to talk more with Mr. Burgett more than I was, I was so afraid I was going to say something wrong, which I often do. I hold these men in the highest regard and would not want to give off the wrong impression. I was however able to get more autographs from Mr. Bando and an autograph from Mr. Burgett. If I had known I was to meet Mr. Burgett, then I would have brought up his books. All in all I think it all went well…
We went back to the house and after a wonderful desert of homemade shortcake by Mrs. Bando, I was able to take pics of most of Mr. Bando’s collection. I had seen most of it the night before, but I got an extra lesson on them again the same night and I learned so much. Who better to get lessons from then a WWII historian??? I was very lucky!!!! I think I stayed up to past midnight just taking pics and talking about the Airborne. (Yes, I will upload a album here for you to see and if your friends with me on Facebook, I will also upload more pics of my trip)
Wow was I tired that night, still I took in the little room I was staying in. Like I said my dad was sleeping in the room with the 506 PIR uniforms, I had the 501 PIR uniforms. I just was so thankful for God allowing all of this to fall into place. This is my dream and I believe it to be my calling to write this book. Then for a possibility of me getting a grant so I can attend Mr. Bando’s
When I woke up the next morning I knew we’d have to leave early, especially after Mr. Bando found out he’d be attending a funeral for a 101st guy. But I was able to get my picture taken with him…
We left soon after that and stopped in
Many writers such as CS Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) have written Christian sci-fi, yet many Christian authors shy away from Christian sci-fi, why did you choose that genre?
Currently my recent plans are:
Outside of writing your on-line series, are you attending a university? If so, what are you studying?
I am currently studying at National University of Malaysia for my degree in Chemistry. Being a science student does not mean one cannot engage in artistic activities. Quite a number of scientists in the past indulge in arts (in general) as well.
Have you ever had the chance to connect with someone through writing?
Do you write anything else besides your fantasy series, such as poetry, essays, etc…
I do write some poetry, but they are extra materials for my fantasy series. I pretty much don't write anything else, but I have plans to write some essays on my personal journal.
How did you discover your talent for writing? And how has it changed your life?
I don't have faith in particular so I don't think I could answer this question.
14 May, 2010
So I got up early and got myself ready, put on a dress (one of my favorites) and made sure I brought both mine and my sister’s camera and autograph book. My sister was also excited about getting some autographs from these heroes! I wasn’t sure what to expect, I’ve never gone to a reunion for veterans before. When we arrived, the first veteran I would meet is George Koskimaki. My dad told him a little about how my grampa served in the 13th and 17th Airborne GIR (Glider Infantry Regiment) and eventually we walked over to the left of the room where there were pictures of the Airborne. The second veteran I met was Fred Bahlau a 3/506 PIR (Parachute Infantry Regiment) man. Mr. Bando introduced me to him and boy was he a character.
So Mr. Bahlau took me over and was showing me a picture of a fellow trooper he served with. He told me that his buddy survived the war, only to die afterwards accidentally. Then he led me back to the table where I was to sit. Mr. Bahlau showed me a book that was made for him, a little like a scrapbook, with pictures of him and letters. There were also a lot of pictures of him while he was on the Band of Brothers Tour. (Something I would love to do, it takes you from
Then I was introduced to Leonard Schmidt, a Purple Heart recipient, another 3/506 PIR man and of course I was asked by both, why was I here. I repeated my story many times I’m sure my dad could tell it for me, I was writing a novel on the 3/506 PIR 101st Airborne WWII. Not a usual topic a nineteen-year-old young woman would write about. Most young women my age only want to write and read Historical romances that are predictable and unbelievably cheesy. I’m too edgy for that.
After I sat down as was looking through Mr. Bahlau’s book, for the life of me I cannot remember his name, but he was a guard for Nazi War Criminals such as Herman Goering. He asked me why I was here and what I did. So again I explained my story and he told me some of what he did during the war. He was another character.
I also got the chance to meet a 501 PIR man Ed Hallo. He was a very nice gentleman, he sat down and talked with me a short while. Mr. Hallo told me a story, which I won’t repeat, it really upset him still 60 some years later. He came back later after the meeting to tell me it was nice to meet me. I was even able to get my picture taken with him, but the camera was acting up and it didn’t take.
After the ceremony was finished there was a short time for some more meet and greet. Like I said before Mr. Hallo left, he came back and I was able to get his autograph for me and my sister. Unfortunately the picture did not come out. I was able to see Mr. Bahlau once more and he was such a sweetheart. I was able to get an autograph from him for my sister and I even a picture taken with him. After that I know I shouldn’t have because it probably was inappropriate, I kissed him on the cheek. Hey it was a once in a lifetime moment and how many girls my age can say she kissed a WWII veteran of the 101st Airborne paratroops? Mr. Bahlau also gave me his card and told me anytime I needed help, just to contact him. I believe I will take him up on his offer.
Finally as the meeting was wearing down, Mr. Bando introduced me to George Koskimaki. He autographed both mine and my sister’s books and I got my picture taken with him. I had left the room for a moment and when I came back Dad and Mr. Koskimaki were having a nice talk. Dad was explaining more about my grampa and what we he did.
I sat down and eventually Mr. Koskimaki said that there were some books he wanted me to read. So he came back with his three own books, two of them autographed. I had been searching for them through my library and I knew that there were good. I just couldn’t get them and couldn’t afford them on-line. I told him I greatly appreciated it and that it meant the world to me him doing this. I asked him if he could sign his last book, he went to get a pen from his suitcase and when he returned he tossed this piece of camouflaged material at me. He told me "That’s the last piece of my parachute from D-Day." I was completely dumbfounded. It wasn’t some small piece, like one or two inches long; it was a very nice size piece. I now consider it my little treasure and keep it with my other little collection that Mr. Bando gave me while up there.
I have more to tell, but this entry alone is fairly long, so I’ll leave the rest of the day for Part Three of my trip to
13 May, 2010
12 May, 2010
Most of you know I live in
While at dinner we talked some about 3/506 and he was trying to persuade me to write about the 1/506, I believe. Before I make any hasty decisions, I will be doing a HUGE amount of prayer, I jumped into it (yeah I know, funny choice of words with the paratroops and all) the first time, although I do NOT regret it, I will NOT do that again. Who knows, I may just write about both 1 and 3/506. I really like researching the 506 PIR, not that they other regiments are less interesting, they truly are!!!! Each unit is amazing!
I feel called to write this book and yes, I would love to get it published, but I do not know enough yet. I have years upon years of research to write this and get it right. I want to do the vets justice, if I fail in that way, I fail in every way.
Anyway, I got completely off subject, while on our first day, there Mr. Bando showed us his collection which is like a little museum within his house. I could spend hours just starring at everything, because unlike many of the people of my generation, they don’t excited about history as I do. Which is another reason I would love to go on his
Dad got the guest room and I got the upstairs room, I loved that little room, it’s kind of my dream room. Away from everything, plenty of room for a writing desk and computer. Up there is also a bunch of uniforms on mannequins as well as different posters in frames. I did miss out on his slide show, which he wanted to show us, I hope I can see it someday.
He showed me some of his own collection in his (I guess you’d have to call it kind of like a…) basement rooms, although I was beginning to wear down by then and I’m surprised I can still remember what he taught me.
Ok, that is Day 1 of my trip to
11 May, 2010
Is there any WWII/101st Airborne novel that is both well written and researched that you would be as close to the actual events in WWII? Except for Gary Varner’s “The Great Hour Struck”.
Besides the 101st Airborne, what other military divisions do you like to research? You have previously mentioned the 442nd Infantry Regiment. Do you have an interest for any other Airborne Divisions such as the 17th Airborne Division or 13th Airborne Division? Or possibly dedicating a book to only the forgotten Gliders?
Can we expect any more books from you in the future, if so, would they be about the 101st Airborne?
10 May, 2010
It is obvious that you enjoy writing about the legendary 101st Airborne. Have you ever thought about writing about another Division, World War II, or even another war in general? Except for your third book which was written on the 2nd Armored Division.
08 May, 2010
07 May, 2010
From all of the many interviews you have done with the 101st Airborne Troopers, out of all of them, which one was the most rewarding and helpful to you?
Many authors/journalists/reporters decided to use pseudonym instead of their given name. Is Mark Bando, your pseudonym or your given name?