Book Reviews

“Dear Candy,

 On this foggy day on the Maine coast I have finished reading your book. Vacation time is a wonderful time to read. 

I had misread the 8th AFHS magazine review and thought your Dad had been physically with you on your journey. What a surprise when I found it was his voice in the book and his spirit that accompanied you on your journey. It meant so much to me to hear his voice. I truly believe he was with you.

It was interesting as I read the book the memories that came back from my 1960s time in the USAF. Especially, the POW training I went through. It was clear from your Dad’s comments that the USAF had learned from the WWII POWs, and by my time Korea, what training they should have received. Our survival school was three weeks with a lot of focus on the POW aspects of what we might experience, including actual interrogations, threats, coercion, friendly enemies and “living” in a dark,small box including the little tin can in the corner. It also included a week in the Sierra Mountains in February on an escape and evasion exercise in teams of two. It was constant moving and one weeks rations for 7 days. Seems like I remember the average weight lose about 20 pounds for the three weeks. What is amazing, looking back, is we were all in great shape having spent about one and one half years in basic and combat crew training up to that point. It truly calibrated me on the POW experience of many months and in some cases years in WWII.

We who served after your Dad’s generation stood on strong shoulders of men and women like your Dad.

The book also pointed out the teamwork and comradeship in the flight crews and in POW camps. In my 35 years, in the technology world, it constantly frustrated me about the lack of real teamwork. My standard, after the USAF, was would I fly into combat with this person or persons.

I had to chuckle at your heavy luggage going up stairs in small town European hotels. If there is an elevator, odds are it will be tiny. 

I appreciate and respect the energy and time you spent on the book, and to your family and others who supported your effort. Also, that your Mom went with you on this incredible journey. A humble thank you for preserving Dad’s legacy and those of thousands like him.

A prayer of thanksgiving to all who have served, are serving and will serve! 

Respectfully,

Al MacIlroy
Princeton, NJ
USAF – Strategic Air Command
B-52 Navigator / Radar Navigator
Viet Nam Era

 

“Finished your book this weekend.  Wow!  And, the “as written by him” twist too!!  What an interesting and enjoyable style. 

At your book signing you and I traded a couple of adages.  I believe yours was, “Freedom isn’t free.”  I think I expanded on that with, “For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected may never savor.” 

After reading your book I must remark that you, madame, have savored freedom through your admirable quest to walk in your father’s footsteps.  You “fought” with valor and achieved your goal.

I would not presume to speak for your father, but if you were my daughter I would burst with pride.  You are a good woman, Candy Kyler Brown………………………”

Warm regards,

Rodger A. Klenovich*

USAF Pararescue

 Vietnam ’67 & ’68                                                 

Rodger A. Klenovich served in the US Air Force as a Pararescueman.  He was trained in the rescue of downed aircrew members. He flew over 100 missions in Vietnam with the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron in the famed “Jolly Green Giant” helicopters.  During his 18 months in Vietnam he assisted in the rescue of 14 airmen, sailors and marines who had been shot down.  His efforts were worthily recognized by the Air Force with the prestigious awards of the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross and 10 Air Medals

I feel honored to receive these kind words from Rodger, a hero from another war.  My wish is that everyone may feel the pride in those who have ‘fought for us’ as deeply as I do.  My hope is that we appreciate the sacrifices made for us by our ‘protectors’ and that we always value our freedom. 

 

 ”I just finished reading your book and I wanted to tell you that you did an extraordinary job writing it.  Your dad has to be grinning from ear to ear and bursting with pride that his daughter could write his story so eloquently.  What a wonderful tribute to him and all the men who fought for America and all the POW’s that sacrificed so much.

I got to know your dad a little bit with each page I turned.  He was a fine man, son, brother, and father and you and your family are so fortunate you had him in your lives for so long. (It’s never long enough, is it?)

I had so many emotions churning inside of me while I read.  I cried, I laughed, I felt sad, I felt relief, I felt happy.  It was incredible!  It made me think of my dad, who was a sergeant in Army infantry and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  Your dad, my dad, all of the men and women are my heroes!

Congratulations on a job well done!  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing your dad’s story with me and all who read this book.”

Carla (Woodarek) Prieur  (Carla was in school with my sister, Dawn, and how delighted I was to receive this message from her after she read the book.  Obviously, she shares the same pride in our father’s with her dad having been a sergeant serving in the Army infantry in the Battle of the Bulge!  It does my heart good to hear from other sons and daughters who feel the same pride in their fathers).

 

“Candy Brown has written a heart-warming book about her WW II hero father.  Words are written as if her father is writing the book…words taken from his diaries only discovered after his death.  She retraces his footsteps and experiences including some of what he endured in prison camps, and more.  A remarkable story!  What you have done is what every WW II father would be so proud to have his daughter do.” 

….George Ciampa, WW II veteran of five campaigns in France, Belgium and Germany 

 

“you have  elected to take on one of the most difficult forms of writing–the flashback. You have pulled that off beautifully!!!! Yours is the first book I have read of this kind that is told in first person from your dad’s perspective, which was a really novel approach no one else has thought of. And what has resulted is a beautifully haunting piece that engages the reader immediately. That is not always easy to do. To keep everything in the right order and remember what you wrote previously is the challenge of writing flashbacks. But you have been masterful at it!”

….Marilyn Jeffers Walton, author of  “Rhapsody In Junk”

 

“I have been volunteering for 22 years with the USAF Office of Retiree Affairs.  During that time I have assisted many surviving family members who have said, (like you) my Dad never spoke about his experiences during the war.  My usual response to this statement is, “did you ever ask him about them?”  The best responses I ever have heard are the ones in your book, and an example of the finest efforts of the preservation of family history, and our country’s heritage.”

 

….George Guderley (B-17 Waist Gunner, ex-POW-Stalag Luft IV)

 

“Thank you, thank you, for sending us your really wonderful book, the way you have told the story is absolutely fantastic and what an honor for us to be included in this wonderful story.  It makes compelling reading…….we are sure that all who are interested in WWII will purchase it – it is a “must”….

You have done a wonderful job and I can’t praise you enough.”

 

….Gerry Darnell (a boy in Podington in WWII)