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March 26, 2014

Author speaks about story of World War II letters

By Terry Oparka
C & G Staff Writer

When Teresa Irish lost her father to cancer in 2006, she knew he had a trunk from his time in the Army, but she didn’t expect to find more than a thousand letters to his parents and sweetheart, whom he would marry just 20 days after he was discharged.

She also found more than 250 photographs stashed in the trunk.

“He had a great mind, and he did talk about the war,” she said of her father, Bud Irish, a World War II veteran who died at age 84. He was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart. The letters, postmarked between 1942 and 1945, formed the basis of Teresa’s book, “A Thousand Letters Home: One WWII Soldier’s Story of War, Love and Life.”

It chronicles her father’s story of crouching in foxholes and on the front lines in Germany.

“It was quite a treasure trove,” she said. “It took me 13 months to read them all.”

Teresa, president of a home health care company and one of 10 children, had never written for publication, but she published the book herself by forming her own publishing and distribution company. She will share her father’s story at the Troy Public Library from 12:30-2:30 p.m. April 1.

“Although they are my dad’s words, it was an experience lived by every family in America. The book resonates with people.”

She has spoken about the book at 125 events in recent months.

Connie Doherty, head of adult services at the Troy Public Library, said the staff has heard that Irish has had great turnout at other libraries.

“We’re always trying to do something seniors would appreciate,” Doherty said.
   
Register online for the program, which is sponsored by the friends of the Troy Public Library, at www.troylibrary.info  or call (248) 524-3542.  The Troy Public Library is located at 510 W. Big Beaver.

For information about Irish’s other appearances, visit www.athosandlettershome.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Terry Oparka at toparka@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1054.