Book Showcases East Texas World War Two Veterans - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/16/06-Longview

Book Showcases East Texas World War Two Veterans

A display at the Upshur County Historical Museum showcases the thoughts and actions of Texas veterans in World War II, and a new book is part of that display.   

Dallas school teacher Millie Jean Coppedge spent eight years traveling and talking to Texas veterans of World War II to get their stories. She had five family members fight in that war. She says she started writing the book because of a family member who was killed in the Battle of the Bulge.

"All I realized is that the only thing the family knew about him was what was on his tombstone, cause he was killed at 19," said Coppedge.

She has compiled 38 stories of veterans into her book, talking with many about bitter memories of horrors of war.  "It's difficult now.  You can't talk to a man who tells you he's seen his buddy blown to bits... and not be emotional about it," she said.

Her book and other World War II memorabilia are on display at the Upshur County Historical Museum.

"They will tell you that their war memories.  You come home and they don't go away.  War memories are forever and the longer you live the stronger they get," said Coppedge.

"Old World War II veterans, they still live those actual days many years ago, 60 years ago," said army veteran Bob Quinn of Wood county.

Coppedge hopes her book will educate a new generation about the courage displayed by those in her book.  "They know nothing of war, nothing of sacrifice.  Freedom didn't just happen yesterday.  It's been with us forever.  Someone is always sacrificed for our freedom," she said.

For more information on the book, and East Texans in World War II contact the Upshur County Historical Museum.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting.  bhallmark@kltv.com

 

 

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