Author Presentation and Book Signing
“Star-Spangled Hearts”: American Women Veterans of World War II
Village Lights will host author and oral historian Jeffrey S. Suchanek and his wife and co-author Jeanne Ontko Suchanek on Saturday, July 8th from 1:00 to 3:00 PM in our upstairs event room. Mr. Suchanek will present a talk and slide show, and Mrs. Suchanek will read from the interviews in "Star Spangled Hearts”: American Women Veterans of World War II. After the presentation, they will sign books on the main floor.
During World War II well over a quarter of a million American women volunteered for military service, participating in all branches of the armed forces (army, navy, marines and coast guard) in newly-created all-female auxiliaries as well as the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. However, until recently their contribution to the war effort has been largely absent from the histories of that conflict, overshadowed by the attention to the iconic “Rosie the Riveter” representing women’s service on the home front and in industry. In “Star-Spangled Hearts”: American Women Veterans of World War II, oral historian Jeffrey S. Suchanek at last accords these women the front-and-center attention their service merits. Based on first-hand interviews he conducted with women veterans from all of the service branches, he presents here the memoirs of twenty women who collectively demonstrate that the honor of “Greatest Generation” does not belong to their male counterparts alone. Along with amusing accounts of olive-drab underwear and other adaptations of the military to women and vice versa, and tales of the rigors of basic training and the hard work and play of military life that will be familiar to male and female veterans alike, these accounts probe serious issues of sexual harassment and homosexuality that are matters of current debate regarding military service. Most importantly, these women speak to what it means to serve one’s country in time of war, a duty and privilege for which they were the trailblazers for today’s servicewomen.
Jeffrey S. Suchanek is head of the Public Policy Archives at the University of Kentucky and an oral historian. He is also the author of Time on Target, a World War II memoir of Gen. William R. Buster, and a member of the Society of American Archivists, Kentucky Council on Archives, and the Midwest Archives Conference. Originally from northeastern Ohio, Mr. Suchanek currently lives in Frankfort, Kentucky with his wife Jeanne Ontko Suchanek, who collaborated with him on “Star-Spangled Hearts”.