Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Normandy 1944 - The Book's Finished, But Not War

War dominates the headlines these days, just as it has a good share of the time down through the centuries. Remember the First World War, the one people called the Great War while it was forever contaminating the landscape in Flanders and many other locations? It was billed as The War to End All Wars.
Yeah, sure. In fact it didn't end at all in 1918, just simmered for a while and then took up where it left off in what came to be known as World War II. A popular song proclaimed that when this one was over there would be joy and laughter and peace ever after. Even before that there was war in Spain and the Far East, probably a few other places. Then came what was laughingly referred to as a "police action" in Korea. The soldiers involved could easily have been fooled into believing they were involved in a shooting war. Then came Vietnam and. . .well, you get the idea.
Man's determination to kill other men may take a short breather now and then but soon the blood begins to flow once more. And when they go at it, with those on both sides believing they are fighting for a noble cause, the men aren't the only ones to die because bombs and bullets don't discriminate. Little kids, babies, women, the elderly and even helpless animals bewildered by a world suddenly gone mad also end their lives in pain and agony. In recent years they've given that aspect of war a name: collateral damage. Sounds better than killing kids, I guess.
So now I have a book on the market, a book devoted to war and killing and watching your friends die. It's billed as The Battle of Normandy, neither glamorized nor sanitized, as seen from ground level during the bloody summer of 1944 - the personal experiences of an 18-year-old 4th Infantry Division rifleman. . . Yes, that pretty well sums it up.
And, oh, yes, that's the 4th Infantry Division that fought in America's major battles in The War to End All Wars. And in Vietnam and on the streets of Baghdad today. My regiment, the 12th Infantry, is one of those in the 4th Division. Long before I came along it fought at Fort McHenry while Francis Scott Key watched from the distance and wondered if the flag would still be flying there in the morning. It was at Gettysburg, too, and Antietam and in those battles with Indians in the hills and on the plains of the Old West. On and on it goes, and always for some good cause that will make the world safe and secure forever and ever.
Now those pathetic individuals called diplomats and politicians are talking about "a lasting peace" in the Middle East. What was it I said before. . .yeah, sure.


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