Suzette Martinez Standring: Honoring those who serve

Veterans Day is a reminder that a soldier’s terror, courage and faith make freedom possible. Candy Kyler Brown retraced her father’s World War II footsteps when Staff Sergeant John Roland Kyler, at age 20, parachuted from the skies after his B-17 was gunned down, and was taken prisoner by the German army. The author shares her journey from her father’s perspective, “What I Never Told You: A Daughter Traces The Wartime Imprisonment of her Father” (AuthorHouse, 2010, $17.99).

In 2004 Sgt. Kyler died at age 81, his World War II stories untold. Afterward, his daughter discovered a notebook of poems and sketches kept by her dad during his captivity from 1944 to 1945. Kyler-Brown yearned to know what her father went through as a ball turret gunner as part of the B-17 Flying Fortress, and later as POW #1277 in Nazi Germany. Over time she pieced together the 15-month period that her father never shared. “I thought if I could go to the places from his wartime past to walk where he walked, and to feel how closely he might have felt, then somehow it could become our story, and I would be more deserving to write it,” said Kyler-Brown, age 62, who is married with children and who lives in Kill Buck, New York.

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