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SFC: A Poor Man's Battle cover

ST. LOUIS, MO June 6, 2023— Solomon Turner PR announces the launch of SFC: A Poor Man’s Battle a new book by Frank McElvain. The book highlights the life of Franks’ father, John McElvain, from his childhood of sharecropping parents to his military service in World War II and Vietnam, to his role in breaching Nazi Germany’s Siegfried Line and receiving a Bronze Star. Though thriving in violent combat John struggled to navigate through his greatest challenge-his marriage to Hedy, a 4’11” Bavarian firecracker, and toughened German survivor of the Third Reich.

SFC: A Poor Man’s Battle takes you into the foxholes with John during his heroic war efforts, focuses on his often-turbulent relationship with Hedy, and reveals the shocking family secrets they left behind. The book is now available at Amazon.

Published and edited by Manuel Freedman, SFC: A Poor Man’s Battle, is based on letters and documents Frank and his siblings discovered when clearing out their parents’ estate after their deaths.

McElvain found a trove of vintage correspondence hidden in a magazine rack amongst his mother’s German newspapers. Included were love letters from his mother’s first fiancé—a World War II German soldier fighting on the eastern front, his father’s letters to his parents (intercepted by Hedy), letters revealing his father’s extramarital affair with a coworker, and more. Many of these personal matters were often rumored but never discussed in front of the McElvain children. The discoveries were made when Frank was 60, a lifetime in the dark.

“John and Hedy settled in Colorado and were married for 49 years. They were loving parents and grandparents, and didn’t discuss their pasts,” McElvain said. “But we discovered details of a marriage Dad had before my mother. It was just one of many secrets underlying their relationship. They had their own personal battles and were not ones to shy away from conflict. I never truly knew my parents until I was 60 and they were both gone.”

To determine the thread that brought his parents together, McElvain spent years interviewing family members and friends in the U.S. and Germany, researching John’s military records, and combing through newly discovered photographs, dating as far back as 1925.

He spoke with relatives and a comrade in arms to ascertain details of John and Hedy’s first loves, and John’s year in South Vietnam, a period of which he rarely spoke. Frank also constructed a detailed timeline of John and Hedy’s youth and pinpointed accounts of how Hedy’s family and friends endured multiple Nazi labor camp incarcerations, being branded as communists, and barred from employment.

Each chapter is told through the eyes of John or Hedy and others involved in their lives. Though most details in the book are accurate, including several dozen family photos, McElvain said the work is one of historical fiction. In some instances, names have been created or changed to protect individuals still living, and events, such as the heavily detailed battle scenes, have been authentically dramatized to coincide with the narration of the story.

SFC: A Poor Man’s Battle is much more than a family history. Readers will enjoy this common man’s tale of war, romance, marriage, deceit, and secrets, all hidden no more.

For details visit Amazon.

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