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Two Gold Stars (Hardback)

A World War II Story of Love and Sacrifice

All Westholme Women of History

By Dennis Whitehead
Imprint: Westholme
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781594162350
Published: 30th October 2017


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Colonel Ollie W. Reed was commanding officer of the 175th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division, when he was mortally wounded on July 30, 1944, in Villebaudon, France. At the time of his death, he was unaware that his son, Lieutenant Ollie W. “Bud” Reed, Jr., a 1942 graduate of West Point, had been killed in his second day of combat in Italy on July 5, 1944. They are buried alongside one another in the Normandy American Cemetery. Of the four hundred thousand Americans who lost their lives in World War II, Ollie and Bud Reed are the only father and son to perish while fighting for their country. In Manhattan, Kansas, Bud’s wife Laura and their infant son lived with his mother Mildred Reed. On a warm August 1944 afternoon, an official car arrived at the Reed’s residence to inform Laura that her husband had been killed in combat. In disbelief, the young wife and mother held on to her mother-in-law; several hours later, another official car arrived bearing the overwhelming news that Mrs. Reed too had lost her husband in battle. In Two Gold Stars: A World War II Story of Love and Sacrifice,writer, producer, and photographer Dennis Whitehead tells the story of an exemplary Midwestern family who dedicated their lives serving in the armed forces at a time when Americans had faith in their political leaders, institutions, and the essential goodness of everyone. Relying on family letters, photographs, interviews, and Mildred Reed’s remarkable memoir written for her grandchildren, the author paints a vivid and moving portrait of the Reeds, from the time Ollie, Sr. and Mildred first met, his service in the Mexican Punitive Mission, World War I, and the Philippines; the births of their sons, Ollie, Jr., and Ted, and the ultimate hardship of women being separated from their husbands only to share in a common loss. Despite losing a loving father and brother, Ted carried the Reed name forward, becoming the director of the National Zoo where, in 1972, he brought the giant pandas from China to an adoring American public.

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About Dennis Whitehead

DENNIS WHITEHEAD is a writer, photographer, and producer. Two Gold Stars comes from his work on the PBS documentary, Hallowed Grounds,about overseas American military cemeteries. A graduate of the Ohio University, he worked for the Associated Press in New York and Los Angeles,before coming to Washington, DC, as a photojournalist.

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