Answering the call for tributes

Stories rolling in for book about local people serving their country

Stories rolling in for book about local people serving their country

January 24, 2006|by TIFFANY ARNOLD


Florence Miles has at least 50 books about World War II under her bed, and she expects to add one more to the stack this summer.

Only this time, Miles will be featured in it.

Miles, 83, of Hagerstown, is one of more than 60 people to share war stories with The Herald-Mail Co. since the company started collecting material last month for its latest book.

The Herald-Mail plans to publish "Our Country Called: A Tribute to Washington County Servicemen and Servicewomen" this summer. The limited-edition book will include photos, memorabilia and experiences of Washington County residents who, like Miles, served their country.


The 280-page book will cover military service from World War II through the present war on terrorism, said the book's editor, Marie Lanser Beck, a former Herald-Mail reporter.

Local historian John Frye, a Korean War veteran, said the book is the first attempt by anyone to recount the county's military history since World War II.

"None of that has ever been done," Frye said. "No one has ever tried to put that together."

Michele Wills, Herald-Mail marketing director, said the company plans to print 5,000 books. She said a second volume is likely.

Her office has received 100 calls since the newspaper made public its plans to publish the book, Wills said.

"It's like a grocery store - people keep coming in and out," she said.

Miles, who served in the Women's Army Corps, brought letters and photos from her military experience through the 1940s.

She said her brother, Russell Daudelin, motivated her to share her story. Daudelin was killed in 1943 in a World War II battle in North Africa. Miles said she has been trying to piece together what happened ever since.

"We were brought up in the Depression era, so he never owned a ring or a suit or any of those kinds of things," Miles said. "I always had a lot of sympathy that he never had a chance to live out his life."

Beck said commemorating military history was of particular interest to Washington County residents.

"Historically, wars have been defining moments in our nation's history," she said. "The ramifications of war ripples throughout the entire society."

This fall, The Herald-Mail will publish "Washington County, Maryland Our Past, Our People A Historical Portrait, Volume III," the third and final edition of a series.

Publication being released this summer

"Our Country Called: A Tribute to Washington County Servicemen and Servicewomen" is to be released by The Herald-Mail Co. this summer.

The book will span Washington County's military history from World War II through the current war on terrorism and will hit shelves Memorial Day or July 4, book editor Marie Lanser Beck said. The book will cost $24.95, plus tax.

To contribute your story or to schedule an interview, call 301-791-4509 or 301-791-3478.

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