September 12, 2005 "Forever a Soldier" to Be Published on Veterans Day

Advance Copies To Be Sold at the National Book Festival on Sept. 24

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022 | Anneliesa Clump Behrend (202) 707-9822
Contact: National Geographic Contact: Carol Seitz (202) 828-667

“Forever a Soldier: Unforgettable Stories of Wartime Service” will be published by National Geographic Books in association with the Library of Congress on Nov. 11, Veterans Day. Advance copies of this compilation of stories of 37 servicemen and women will be on sale in the Library of Congress Pavilion at the Library’s National Book Festival on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

“Forever a Soldier” is the second in a series of collected oral histories from the growing collection of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. It joins “Voices of War: Stories of Service From the Home Front and Front Lines,” a 336-page hardcover book that was published last November, and will debut in paperback at the National Book Festival.

These unforgettable eyewitness accounts of wartime service from veterans of World War I through the current conflict in Iraq are culled from letters, diaries, private memoirs and oral histories collected by the Veterans History Project. Included are tales of frontline action, from doughboy Hillie Franz’s 1918 baptism of fire to battleship gunner Ray Brittain’s duel with Japanese planes at Pearl Harbor to medical officer Rhonda Cornum’s capture by Iraqis when her helicopter was shot down during the Gulf War. Each story is unique, but taken as a whole the compilation puts a familiar face on the universal realities of war: courage and fear, horror and exhilaration, sorrow and triumph.

A companion Web site to the book with selected stories will preview on Sept.6 at All 37 stories will be accessible on this site when the book is published in November.

“Forever a Soldier,” a 352-page hardcover book with more than 65 illustrations, will be available in November for $26 in bookstores nationwide and through the Library’s Sales Shop, Washington, DC 20540-4985. Credit card orders will be taken at (888) 682-3557. Online orders can be placed at

The earlier volume, “Voices of War,” is now available in bookstores nationwide and through the Library’s Sales Shop for $30 in hardcover and for $16 in paperback. A companion Web site is also accessible at

In addition to presenting its publications, the Veterans History Project will sponsor a number of activities at the National Book Festival. Appearing will be noted author Andrew Carroll, who wrote the introduction to “Forever a Soldier.” He will join Tom Wiener, historian for the Veterans History Project and author of “Forever a Soldier,” in a discussion followed by a book signing. Several veterans whose stories are told in “Forever a Soldier” will also appear at the book festival to discuss their stories and sign the new book.

Authorized by legislation passed by Congress in 2000, the Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center is a nationwide volunteer effort to collect and preserve oral histories from America’s war veterans. The collection is housed at the Library of Congress. To date more than 35,000 individual submissions have been received. Those who are interested in participating are encouraged to e-mail the Veterans History Project at or to call toll-free (888) 371-5848 to request a free project kit. For more information about the Veterans History Project, visit

For more information about the National Book Festival, visit the Web site at


PR 05-187
ISSN 0731-3527