Military Monday – 70th Anniversary of VE Day

Friday marks the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. To honor those who served, and help you learn how to begin World War II research, locate records, analyze them, and piece together a soldier’s story, I am offering a discount on all my World War II books.

This offer is good today through Sunday, May 11. Just visit my website and order any of the following paperback books directly from my site. Use the 10% discount code: 3CWSCYMZ.

  • Stories from the World War II Battlefield Volume 1 (Army, Air Corps, National Guard)
  • Stories from the World War II Battlefield Volume 2 (Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Merchant Marines)
  • The Tiger’s Widow
  • Stories of the Lost
  • Stories from the Battlefield: A Beginning Guide to World War II Research

While you are on my site, please check out the free World War II Toolbox, Additional Resources for my books, and upcoming appearances.

© 2015, Jennifer Holik, Woodridge, IL

StoresBattlefield_6x9_webCover Vol 1 Widow_Cover3Lost_CoverCover Vol 2

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Writing Wednesday – The Art of Work Book Review

I am a fan of writer Jeff Goins. I follow him on Facebook and read his blog. He has a great way of wording things that I’m thinking, have felt, or am going through in my creative life. If you haven’t read his blog, I suggest you check it out. He recently released a new book The Art of Work. A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant To Do.

A colleague of mine works with Jeff and after reading a couple of posts about why people, who are finding their way and their passion, need this book, I asked her a question. Why do I, someone who understands and knows in her soul, what her creative path is, and is living it, need this book? Her answer – because it is filled with inspiration, and even she, who is on a path she believes is correct, was able to use the book to hone in some things.

Good enough for me. I ordered and read this book. Now, for those who are struggling to live their life’s passion and dream through work, this book is overflowing with inspiration. Each chapter has multiple stories of people who overcame odds, missed their calling, changed course, and ended up doing what they were meant to do on this earth. I saw a lot of that paths I took the last three years to get where I am today. And I’m confident I’m living my soul’s purpose. Most of the book was inspiring but didn’t do much for me. Until…….the end.

At the end of the book, Jeff talks a lot about our work never being finished. We may start something in this life and someone else will have to finish it. Or, we start something but cannot finish it because we die. This is a good reminder that the projects I start and dream about, may never be fully completed, but if I do my part, I will have done what I was supposed to do. He also talks about allowing our passion for work consume us and every minute of our lives. There are seasons where this happens, but we must be aware to not let it consume us forever. You could also call that work-life balance, and if you read my blog post from last week on the book Resilience, I talk about that. Both of these ideas are important to me as I continue to move forward.

Finally, Jeff points out many times throughout the book, that one action, one project, one deed or kind word, can have a ripple effect that we may or may not be aware of. That ripple effect is something I have been thinking about lately with my World War II work. I am one person teaching others how to research and tell the stories of their soldiers. I cannot tell everyone’s story so they are not forgotten, but I can teach people and they will in turn tell others, and over time, more of our soldier’s stories will be recorded. For me, this is very important.

I encourage you to pick up this book whether you have found you calling and life’s passion or not. You will learn something, think about new things, and see a different perspective, even if it takes the entire book.

© 2015, Jennifer Holik, Woodridge, IL

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Tuesday’s Tip – British Commonwealth Cemeteries

Tyne Cot Cemetery WWI (10)

Tyne Cot Cemetery. Photo courtesy Jennifer Holik.

Are you interested in finding your British Force ancestor’s grave from World War I? If you had a relative who served with the British, Irish, Scottish, Australian, or New Zealand forces under the British crown in World War I, there are some great resources available to you. The primary one being the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

These cemeteries are scattered in Europe in countries like Belgium, France, and Germany. Many are located within a farmer’s field and may not be accessible. The larger ones usually have parking nearby.

The graves of those identified soldiers, have the name, service number, rank, and unit engraved on the stone. The unit crest is also engraved on the stone. Those who are unidentified have this indicated on their stone.

All of these cemeteries are recognizable as you drive through the countryside because they each have a tall cross monument with a sword pointing down.

While these cemeteries usually do not have anyone on staff or an office in which you can inquire about who is buried there, they do have a resource to help you locate individuals.

Tyne Cot Memorial Registry books (2)Within each cemetery you can find a Memorial Registry box. When you open the box, you will find inside, several books of names with grave locations, unit, and death date. There is also a cemetery visitor’s register you can sign. Tyne Cot Memorial Registry books (3)

Tyne Cot Memorial Registry books (1)  These cemeteries are beautiful, peaceful, and well-kept. I encourage you to visit if you have a chance when you are overseas.

© 2015, Jennifer Holik, Woodridge, IL

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