Author pleased to join the community to keep veterans stories alive

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by John Ulferts, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. John Ulferts

    John Ulferts Member

    In the 1990s while serving as a teacher with the Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, my wife and I spent our summer vacations camping throughout Europe with our two young toddlers. We paid homage to the sacrifices the Greatest Generation made by visiting the D-Day beaches of Normandy, the battlefields of the Ardennes Forest, Remagen Bridge, the concentration camps of Dachau, Buchenwald, and Auschwitz, and numerous memorial museums to the victims of the Nazi regime. Filled with gratitude, I began writing to WW II veterans to express my thanks, and invited them to share their stories if they wished with my students. For every letter I sent out, I received more responses than expected, as veterans shared my letters with their pals and reunion committees. Before long, I had heard from 140 veterans including 20 Medal of Honor recipients. I knew to fully keep my promise I needed to turn their stories into a book. Once we returned from Europe, I was able to meet many of the men who I had corresponded with - heroes who had become my friends. Life got in the way of writing the book, and it took me longer than I would have liked, but I did complete it in time for some of the veterans to enjoy it. My next project has been turning the book into multimedia presentations that I give absolutely free for various groups that would like me to present to them. Each presentation tells stories from the book along with original pictures of the events the veterans described accompanied by pictures of them. If interested, you can contact me and I could give the following presentations for your group - Pearl Harbor, D-Day, Minorities in WW 2, Liberators of the Holocaust, Medal of Honor Recipients, and Through Veterans Eyes - Stories from WW 2. The latter presentation highlights the whole book. I live in Rockford, Illinois and am happy to travel up to 2 hours. I truly believe that as long as their names are spoken and their stories are told, the veterans of WW II will live on. We owe them that and much more.
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  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Welcome to the forum.
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  3. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Hello and welcome to the forum

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  4. John Ulferts

    John Ulferts Member

    Thank you so much! I'm glad to be here! As you know, some of the toughest fighting in WW 2 was done in Italy!

    You can be very proud of your dad!
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  5. Wobbler

    Wobbler Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard John.
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  6. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Hi John,

    are you interested to meetWWA2 veterans from the Wehrmacht or Luftwaffe?
    Do you speak and understand German?

  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    John. Welcome to the Forum.

    While we live in the U.K., we have relations living in Rockford. Small World!
  8. John Ulferts

    John Ulferts Member

    Unfortunately, I speak very little German even though we lived in Germany for three years. I was teaching on a US Army post in Bad Kreuznach, and spoke English most of the day. We did take a German class at a local community college. Besides my wife and I, there were several workers from Ireland in the class. The teacher gave up on us, and we ended up just getting together for drinks. I wish I would have picked up more - German, that is, we had enough to drink.
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  9. John Ulferts

    John Ulferts Member

    Excellent - Rockford was home to Camp Grant in WW 2 which was a training facility especially for medial units. It also was used as a German POW camp. Rockford was a major munitions producer during WW 2 as well. We love the UK. I could spend days at the Imperial War Museum. Best to you!
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  10. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Wasn't aware of that. Brother-in-Law worked for Sundstrand until he retired. We visited as a family last October but a return visit is clearly out of the question at the moment. Only regret from last octobers visit is that I didn't get to visit Seneca - that's where my late father's D Day LST (LST229) was built.
  11. John Ulferts

    John Ulferts Member

    If you do get back to Rockford, you should visit Atwood Park - it is where Camp Grant once was. You can still see the cement wall of the shooting range, and also a few remaining trenches and two bunkers. Also, by the Rockford airport, there is the Command Post Restaurant and Museum. Sadly, the owner is selling it but it is still full of lots of WW 2 relics. It is one of two or three original buildings from Camp Grant.

    Next time you visit let me know!
    Wobbler and SDP like this.
  12. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Hallo John,

    Bad Kreunach/Nahe is pirtty close to Burg Layen, correct?
    And Rockford is a place I have probably been in 1967 to 1968.

    Today I live in Biberach/Riss
    I think we can talk about wine especially.
    And about Ex-Wehrmacht guys?

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020

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