One of the smartest guys I ever knew was an old squadron mate. He was an enlisted man, a loadmaster on the C-130 Hercules. He had no formal education beyond high school and his training in the Air Force and Navy. But his hobby was reading history. Every time you saw him, he had a nonfiction book on some period of history.
One day he and I were with a group of fliers on a day off in Germany, and we were touring a castle in Heidelberg. Bob could talk without notes about historical events in that part of Germany, including things that had happened at that castle.
Bob’s knowledge impressed me so much, I asked him, “Are you a history teacher in civilian life?”
“Nope,” he said.
“Are you working on a history degree?”
“Nope,” he said. “I just like to read.”
“That’s pretty impressive,” I said. “What is it that motivates you to read so much about history?”
“This $#%& actually happened to people,” Bob said.
This year brings the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. But too many people know too little about it. That’s why I’m challenging folks to read at least two books about World War II this year. Naturally, I hope one of them is my new historical novel, Silver Wings, Iron Cross, which comes out in May. But it could be anything, fiction or nonfiction.
If you take up the #WWIIBookChallenge, please check in and let me know what you’re reading. But we’ll have a hard time catching up with Bob.