I wanted to take a moment and thank each of you for coming to visit my little corner of the web. Last year, the site’s readership exploded. We went from having a few visits every month to thousands a day at times, something that both elated and surprised me. As a writer, there is nothing more gratifying than seeing the words we write resonate out there and find an audience.
Roald Dahl, the great children’s author, wrote, “So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.”
I read that book to my daughter, Renee when she was little, and that passage always stuck with me. Every time we’ve had a book released, I circle back to that quote and wonder where the winds will take it. With this website, I don’t have to wonder, the feedback is virtually instantaneous, something I truly love. I’ve sat here in wonder looking at all the folks from around the world who have come to look at my words, the photos and videos here, and I cannot help but to marvel at this amazing technology. I am profoundly grateful for every visit. So thank you, Dear Reader. Your interest has made this site a focal point of my life.
In the months to come, we’re going to be leveraging technology even more here. We’ll be starting a podcast series soon that will cover a rage of topics and highlight plenty of nearly forgotten American warriors. I’ll be bringing in some guests, doing some interviews, and having a lot of fun with the studio equipment we just picked up to pull this off.
We’re working on a new mini-documentary that we’ll serialize here later in the spring. We’ve acquired some color footage rarely seen before from both the ETO and PTO during WWII, and we’ll be acquiring more over the coming year.
On May 3rd, Indestructible will hit bookstores. This is a book I’ve wanted to write since I was a kid marveling at the tales told by George Kenney and the likes of Ed Sims & Martin Caidin in their books. Indestructible is the story of Pappy Gunn and his family’s experience during the Pacific War. In researching the book, I compiled something like 30,000 pages of documents and many, many stories about Pappy that we did not have room to include in the main narrative. To support the release, throughout May and June, I’ll be posting additional stories, documents and videos about Pappy, his family and friends.
A little later this year, I’ll be embedding with an artillery battalion during their annual field training exercise and will be posting stories, photos and videos about the men & women behind the guns.
We’ll also be following up on some of the stories posted last year. Most notably, thanks to y’all out there in cyberspace, The Last, Lost Letter reached Frank Christen’s surviving relatives. Though his widow passed in 2004, his sister and her family finally received closure and read Frank’s final words home. When his family contacted me…well, all I can say is that have been few professional moments in my life more powerful and rewarding. So stay tuned for an update on that article in the weeks ahead.
Of course, we’ll be updating Gwenie’s story. Our Jordanian refugee continues to grow, get into trouble and cause mayhem wherever she goes. We’ll be following year two of her experience in Oregon after being rescued in Amman by Captain Cassie Wyllie, one of my favorite humans.
Thanks again for making this all possible. Looking forward to a tremendous 2016, and thank you again for your interest and support!
John R. Bruning & Gwenie