Everytown, USA - Read Reviews

EDITORIAL REVIEWS:

“Having traveled extensively with veterans returning to battlefields in the Pacific and Europe, I have heard their stories firsthand.  EVERYTOWN, USA brings these experiences to life, capturing the raw emotions felt by our Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and their families, from the American Revolution to the War in Iraq.  McCoy tends to each tale with a personal touch seldom seen in this genre, so much so that readers will come away feeling connected to each veteran and his family.  EVERYTOWN, USA will serve as an inspiration and guide to others who want to aptly honor their hometown heroes.  This book belongs in every home in America.”
- Eleanor Bertrand, R.N., B.S., author of Tours of Duty: World War II Veterans’ Personal Stories.

EVERYTOWN, USA offers a fitting tribute to those who served our nation, protected our freedom and defended our flag against the very forces that sought to destroy America, and our way of life.  I found it difficult to put this book down.  Not only has McCoy captured the sacrifices of his hometown’s heroes, but he has also issued a noteworthy challenge for others to emulate his example in their own communities–their own, ‘Everytown, USAs.’”
- Jerry Wiley, Vietnam Veteran, author of Captain Mac: War Hero, My Hero.

CUSTOMER REVIEWS: Five Star – Amazon.com

“Everytown, U.S.A.: From Main Street to the Front Lines” is more than a one-off book; for historian-author Mike McCoy this book is but a first step in a ‘mission’, both simple and admirable, to chronicle the war-time experiences of average citizens who have served our great land.  Starting with his hometown of Albion, IN (pop ~2,300), McCoy wishes to see other ‘hometown’ stories brought to life – especially in light of the rapidly diminishing ranks of Second World War veterans – and challenges readers to do just that.

“McCoy’s challenge might fall on deaf ears if he weren’t a talented storyteller.  Fortunately for the reader, McCoy possesses a certain no-nonsense style that makes his prose hard to walk away from.  Style is not trivial in a case like “Everytown, U.S.A.” since each of the 76 chapters is generally less than ten pp. in length, each giving an account of one man (with the noted exception of Gertrude Fulk; we’ll come back to Ms. Fulk).  The necessary compression of individual and largely unrelated stories linked only by geography of residence could have lead to choppy and unreadable prose devoid of any reasoned flow.  Yet, this is certainly not the case.  One mechanism McCoy employed to maintain flow is to cluster chapters into twelve different sections along service branch (Semper Fi; Airmobile; Support; Big Guns: Armor, Mortars and Artillery; Air War; Ground Pounders), combat theatre (War On the Water; Normandy Invasion), and familial lines (Letters Home; A Fulk for Every Season; Fathers and Sons).  This approach provides overlap in ‘context’ for every 4-11 chapters so that readers looking for a ‘bigger story’ won’t be disappointed.  Still, it would be fair to predict that most readers will be sufficiently captivated by most individual stories that a larger context is really a bonus rather than necessity.  In reading these stories it is easy to see how many had been published in some form as local newspaper articles by McCoy previously.  However, this is the first time all the stories have all been produced together for consumption by readers outside the Noble County, IN area.  While one has to give McCoy credit for bringing these stories to life and having the passion to lead the charge to bring stories from other Everytown’s across the country to light, it is the individuals and their experiences forming the narrative that are so compelling.

“One not need to ooze red, white and blue to get caught up in the stories told in “Everytown, U.S.A.”; they are really stories of individuals, families and communities who bore arms in defense of our common American community.  It is in this regard that the story of Gertrude Fulk, seemingly out of place in a book about veterans when she was not, fits.  McCoy tells us that Fulk has been a common Albion family name since the mid-1800’s, and Gertrude is but another example of a Fulk family member who represents the best in self-sacrificing humanity that most of us would like to believe America and Americans represent.  Ms. Fulk was a missionary in Haiti where she spent 43 years establishing hospitals and schools, pieces of crucial social infrastructure that were essentially non-existent when she arrived on the island of La Gonave.  Her life of giving was nearly snuffed out when she was brutally beaten in 1989, but even during her long painful recovery she held no bad will toward her attacker.  Hers is a story of sacrifice that is without self-interest, a common theme running through the American soldier’s tales that make up the mass of “Everytown, U.S.A.”.

“This reviewer believes that Mike McCoy has done his job spreading the word about these simple Americans who served their country, and is likely to excite many present day history buffs to go beyond their normal level of passion to talk to a vet and maybe pass on some more stories from Everytown, USA.  5 stars!!!” – Mannie Liscum – Columbia, Missouri – Professor, University of Missouri

“Once I started reading EVERYTOWN, USA, I had a hard time putting the book down.  …There were numerous times that I got goose bumps from reading the different experiences.  What is mind boggling about the whole experience of EVERYTOWN, USA is that there truly are stories like these in EVERY TOWN in the USA.” – Tweber

“I normally only read fiction, but when this book came in the mail for my husband, I opened it up and didn’t put it down.  … My thanks to Michael McCoy for the great way he has captured the history of these soldiers.” – Kathy P. Bainbridge

EVERYTOWN, USA is a wonderfully written book.  The memories of one service member to the next flow together very well, making this book hard to put down.  It would be nice to see other communities follow this example and record the military history of their veterans before it is too late.  These stories are an important part of history and should be shared.” – BarryD

“Among the many reasons this book is important today, … our Marine grandson will be leaving for Iraq soon.  He has been there before, and to Afghanistan as well.  On this day, our local newspaper reads, ‘According to the Pew Research Center, just 4% of stories in the U.S. media now are about Afghanistan.  And Iraq?  Not even 1%’.  Excuse me?  Newspapers suffer from battle fatigue?  God help us!  Michael McCoy honors the sacrifices of those from his hometown … by having them tell their experiences in war.  It is a powerful book and an important part of this freedom-loving country’s history.” – Eileen




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