All Write

Shipmate you stand relieved

tom and shirley tucker at barnes and noble

Harold (Tom) Tucker passed away yesterday morning. His and Shirley’s story is the final chapter in War Bonds: Love Stories from the Greatest Generation.

This couple is especially dear to me. They attended every book signing they could make it to, shared their story on public TV in a Northwest Profiles episode, and fielded questions from military service members past and present at the Spokane Veterans Forum.

It hurt Tom to speak of the things he saw when his ship, the USS LaGrange, was bombed two days before the end of the war. But he spoke of the wounded and dying men he tried to help. It was important to him that their sacrifice would be remembered.

Following his service during WWll, Tom became one of the first motorcycle police officers in Spokane, Washington, and despite the seriousness of some of the stories he shared, he always made me laugh.

My thoughts are with Shirley today.

“She’s the other half of me,” Tom once said.

Shipmate you stand relieved. We have the watch.

tom and shirley tucker, dating, 1944, low res

 

War Bonds

Death Diminishes War Bonds Roster

Sometimes I run out of words. A dire problem for a writer, but gut-wrenching loss will do that to you.

Within the span of a few weeks, two precious people featured  in War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation have passed away.

First my beloved Marine, Myrt Powers, died. The story of her marriage to sailor, Walt Powers, is featured in chapter 30– and is unusual because both she and her husband served in World War ll. This couple were also featured on the television show Northwest Profiles and shared their story at a local veterans support group, following the book’s publication.

I last saw Myrt in March 2016 when my husband and I ran into her waiting in line for coffee in Hawaii! She and her husband wintered on Oahu for many years.

Feisty, upbeat and absolutely adorable, Myrt is everything I want to be when I grow up. My heart aches for Walt and for all of us who knew and loved her. Though she was tiny, her absence leaves a huge hole.

14090_890795544292407_8952799764996575077_n[1]Cindy Hval with Myrt and Walt Powers, 2015.

And then last week, Jack Rogers died. A lifelong, prolific artist, Rogers taught all four of my sons during his tenure as art teacher at Northwest Christian School.

The story of his courtship and enduring marriage to his wife, Fran, is featured in chapter 20 of War Bonds.

He was still painting up until the last week of his life as he decorated wooden tailgates for Personal Energy Transporters for the PET Project.

In November, I was privileged to cover one of his last art shows.

“I was given a gift and I want to share it,” he said.

And here’s where words fail.

How can I possibly convey the depth of my admiration and love for these people? How do I sum up the gratitude I feel for having been a small part of their lives and for being entrusted to share their stories with the world?

I can’t.

But I can say I will miss them and treasure the memories of the hours spent with Myrt Powers and Jack Rogers.

I hope that I’ve given readers of War Bonds a snapshot of how they made the post World War ll world, a place of hope.

Rest in peace, beloveds, for you have surely earned it.

 

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Jack and Fran Rogers, with Cindy Hval, 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

War Bonds

War Bonds at Spokane Veterans Forum

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Cindy Hval with Myrt and Walt Powers and Harold and Shirley Tucker.

Last night, two couples featured in War Bonds Love Stories From the Greatest Generation were guests at Spokane Veterans Forum.

The Veterans Forum is a group of veterans and Gold Star Mothers who serve as mentors to men and women coming through the Spokane Veterans Court.

The Spokane Veterans Forum (SVF) provides training support, fellowship,
camaraderie and help to veterans from  any Veterans Enhanced
Therapeutic (VET) Court.

Organizers showed the Northwest Profiles video featuring the two couples and then I facilitated a discussion about relationships during and after military service.

The veterans and their mentors proved to be a warm and responsive crowd and gave the Powers and the Tuckers a standing ovation at the conclusion of our discussion.

How wonderful to see these members of the Greatest Generation honored, respected and valued for the wisdom they have to offer us.

War Bonds

War Bonds on Northwest Profiles: Watch Now!

I’m really happy with the work Bob Lawrence and Bill Fitzner did on this segment of Northwest Profiles featuring War Bonds couples Harold and Shirley Tucker and Myrt and Walt Powers.

It’s so wonderful to have video of these special people and to be able to have them share snippets of their stories in their own words.

Click here to see the segment. http://video.ksps.org/video/2365498944/

PS: The War Bonds book giveway sponsored by Spokane Talks Online, is still going on. Enter to win here!

War Bonds

Stay Tuned: War Bonds to be featured on Northwest Profiles

So thrilled that two of the couples featured in War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation will appear in a segment of “Northwest Profiles” a program on KSPS TV.

WB taping2

Here are Harold and Shirley Tucker being interviewed by producer Bob Lawrence. The Tucker’s chapter is titled “Romance on Wheels.”

Have to admit I teared up when Harold said, “We love each other now more than ever.”

WB taping 3Bob Lawrence made sure to get their autographs!

Then it was out to Cheney where Myrt and Walt Powers were interviewed. They have a unique story “The Marine and the Sailor.” Myrt was the Marine. Or is the Marine. As she said, “There are no ‘former’ Marines.”

WB taping

This six-minute segment will air at 7 PM on Thursday May 28th on KSPS TV.  The stations coverage area includes Western Montana to Central Washington and from Oregon north to Central Alberta.

Hope you’ll all tune in to hear and see these amazing people. You’ll be glad you did!