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Memorial Day is  the last Monday in May. Originally called Decoration Day and celebrated on May 30, it was a time to decorate with spring flowers the graves of those killed in the Civil War. It wasn’t until after World War I that the observance included those who died in all of America’s wars. Memorial Day became a national holiday in 1971, at which time it was moved to the last Monday in May. I can still remember the parade to the cemetery and the little red poppies, the American Legion veterans and their black caps. It was a solemn ceremony.

Inspirational publishers have marketed a number of novels that honor our military men and women. Following is a list of books with a military theme or main characters who are veterans. Some I’ve read. Some—not yet. Enjoy and remember.

Recent Releases:

Wings of Glory series – A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin – Released in March 2010

The series follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II. In A Distant Melody, Lt. Walter Novak flies a B-17 bomber in battles over Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, while Allie Miller serves in the Red Cross against the wishes of her wealthy parents and controlling fiancé in California. Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and begin a correspondence. As letters fly between Walt’s muddy bomber base in England and Allie’s mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?

American Heroes Series – Frasier Island, Finding Marie, Inside Story by Susan Page Davis

Inside Story is the latest in this series and features Claudia Gillette, a prize-winning journalist at a high-profile magazine,. She prides herself in her cool independence-traveling the globe, beating the deadline. Landing the interview with Heidi Taber, the only female in an elite U.S. Navy special operations unit, is yet another rung on her ladder of career successes. Lieutenant Bill White is not happy about the journalist standing in front of him in the midst of the Philippine jungle. He has no time for public relations campaigns-certainly not during a covert mission to rescue a well-known aerophysicist from terrorists. As shells explode and tracer fire streaks the air, Claudia finds herself caught up in a danger she never expected.or wanted. With lives at stake, she fears her presence in the unit is their greatest detriment to survival. Will she find the strength to live through the nightmare.or has her ambition cost her her life?

I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires by Cathy Gohlke – a 2009 Christy award winner                                           

As Civil War rends his family and the nation, seventeen-year-old Robert vows to rescue his estranged mother and the girl he loves from behind enemy lines.  Unwittingly entangled in a prison escape, left for dead, and charged as a spy, Robert must forge his anger and shame into a renewed determination to rescue his family.  Confronted by an enemy and a war he no longer understands, Robert finds that the rescue, and its results, may not be up to him.

Gunner’s Run by Rick Barry

Welcome to 1943. Gunner’s Run is the story of Jim Yoder from Elkhart, Indiana. Young and confident Yoder has decided that he’s going to be the master of his own fate. So he leaves home and enlists in the Army Air Force, where he  becomes a waist gunner on a B-24 in England.  But when unexpected events strand Yoder alone, on the ground, and behind enemy lines, he realizes he has a choice: either allow himself to be captured, or set his sights on England and make a run for it. Can Yoder make it back to England before his pursuers catch or kill him? And will Margo, the girl he left back home, wait for him, or will she conclude he’s dead and marry another? Join Jim Yoder on this unexpected adventure, where it’s sometimes difficult to tell friend from foe!

True Colors by Erin Rainwater (A Civil War story)

Her war is not with enemy soldiers but with battles of the heart and of the will. Only truth can conquer this type of foe. And truth is in short supply.

Wings of Refuge Series by Cheryl Wyatt

This Love Inspired series has the following titles: Book One A Soldier’s Promise, Book Two A Soldier’s Family, Book Three Ready-Made Family, Book Four A Soldier’s Reunion, Book Five Soldier Daddy, Book Six (just released in January) A Soldier’s Devotion, Book Seven (releasing June 1) Steadfast Soldier

Next week I will list additional novels, some that will be available in the next two months–just in time for that trip to the beach or lounging around the pool. Be sure to read Part 2.

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