2016-05-18 / News

Book spotlights local WWII vets

Janis Stein to sign book at festival

Author Janis Stein pays tribute to local World War II veterans in her new book, Hometown Heroes: World War II Veterans Share Their Stories.

The book, which will be available for purchase during a book signing at the Deckerville Heritage Festival on May 28, features biographical experiences of 24 men and women in Sanilac and Huron counties.

From serving in support roles to fighting bloody battles on the front lines, witnessing the mass graves and atrocities Hitler imposed, to surviving life in a POW camp, World War II veterans made unimaginable contributions and sacrifices. It is this greatest generation that Hometown Heroes strives to honor.

This year, 2016, marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of America’s entry into World War II. Young men and women from across Michigan and beyond left farms and factories, left their homes and families, to fight and serve. All braved uncertainties. Through firsthand interviews, veterans’ photographs and war journals, Hometown Heroes brings to life the experiences of these veterans. The majority of veterans featured in this collection were born and raised in Huron and Sanilac Counties while others eventually made their homes in Michigan’s Thumb region.

Janis Stein Janis Stein Stein’s 276-page paperback contains more than 400 photographs and in-depth memoirs preserving the historical experiences of the following veterans: August Abraham Jr., Richard Bauer, Alfred Bohn, George “Pete” DeFrain, Leonard DeFrain, LaVerne Hanselman, Leo Klee, Beatrice (McCarty) Liput, Robert Millerwise, Ed Mroczek, Mary (Kelly) O’Connor, Harold O’Neill, Arthur “Archie” Peplinski, Louis Reid Sr., William A. Silverthorn, Helen “Pat” (Stein) Holliday, Leo Stein, Dr. Edward Steinhardt, Harold Susalla, Dr. Manuel Teves, Robert L. Tschirhart, Merle Van Sickle, William Wilkins and Grant Yager. “I know there are more World War II veterans in this region, and I apologize to all of the veterans whose stories I haven’t yet heard and documented,” said Stein. “I urge these men and women to share their memories with their families. Likewise, I implore everyone to ask about their loved ones’ memories. We must work together to preserve the history of this greatest generation, and in doing so, may we never forget.”

Julie Purdy of Purdyville Publishing, LLC designed Hometown Heroes, and Stein’s book has earned endorsements from, among others, Vietnam war veteran and former state legislator John Espinoza of Croswell.

Espinoza, retired from the army as a first sergeant, calls Hometown Heroes “a must-read for all students of military history … a must-read for all people grateful for the sacrifices of these veterans … During over 20 years of military service, I was compelled to study military history and have done so. I pretty much have studied every major battle in U.S. history. None of these studies have told me of the experiences these veterans had. Janis Stein has taken the time to tell us these stories in her book Hometown Heroes. I am grateful for her effort. We all should be.”

Stein was born and raised in Huron County and continues to call the area home, along with her husband, David, and their daughters. Stein’s other books include Schools of Yesteryear, Volume I: Sand Beach and Sherman Townships, Huron County (2008); Musings of a Country Girl (2009); Tales of Tragedy & Triumph (2011); and Schools of Yesteryear, Volume II: Bingham, Paris and Sheridan Townships, Huron County (2014), which earned a State History Award from the Historical Society of Michigan.

Please note

If you would like to meet Janis Stein in person and get your book autographed, she will have books available for sale at the following events: Author’s Day, Pigeon District Library, Saturday, May 21, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.; and Deckerville Heritage Day, Main Street, Saturday, May 28, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. If you would like to order by mail, the cost of Hometown Heroes is $25 plus $5 shipping ($30). Please include your mailing address, and make checks payable to Stein Expressions, LLC, 5062 Edwards Road, Harbor Beach, Michigan 48441. To order online, visit www.steinexpressions.com. If you would like more information, call Janis Stein at 989-864-5528, or email janis@steinexpressions.com.

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