Bill Christy is a Korean War Army Veteran, a retired certified public accountant and a retired financial administrator in higher education. He said, “This is my 3rd book. The first 2 books were family history books based on my mother’s family name, Burke. Burke is the English spelling of the French name De Burgh. Tommy de Burgh, A Soldier’s Legacy, is my first historic fiction but comes out of about 10 years of research and 2 trips to England and Ireland.”
“A Soldier’s Legacy is a series of letters that Tommy wrote. It tells how he suffered after being wounded in the Korean War, about his release to return home, and how he was honored. This story begins on a hospital ship where Tommy has been taken. With each letter he writes, Tommy is learning to forgive and to survive from being a POW (prisoner of war). When he gets an invitation to the Vatican, he is elated and that is where he begins to heal. This is a short read of only 91 pages.” Reviewed by Linda Weaver Clarke
Hello, Bill. Please tell us about A Soldier’s Legacy: Tommy De Burgh.
Tommy de Burgh is historic fiction about a Kansas youth drafted into the very early days of the Korean War. He is a composite of many of my High School Classmates and the events that they suffered through. This is a different slant of telling their story and their search for faith & hope in a war they felt unprepared for. Many did not survive but those who did were forever changed. Tommy suffers the loss of many friends, my friends, but gains faith and hope from people who reached out to him in mysterious ways.
I’m sure there are many soldiers who understand and feel what Tommy felt. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
The memories and stories of high school friends and my own de Burgh family legacy research. I wanted to write the history but have found by mountains of research that absolute truth is impossible to come by. Historic writers can’t seem to agree on it or define it and Historic Fiction writers by faithful research and basis in fact can spin a story that touches all the bases in an interesting way and tell the story.
I absolutely agree. I have read some historical fiction books that helped me to understand what the patriots, years ago, really had to go through to get this freedom we enjoy so much. What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?
The military part of Tommy’s service came from my friends and events during the beginning of the Korean War and the startup of the military draft system along with their experiences. Many of these events I still feel emotional about. The Korean War is now the “Forgotten War”. The de Burgh legacy comes from the ten years of research and travel to England & Ireland and family still living in Ireland.
I bet the research was fun to do. When researching your own families, it can feel very personal. Please tell us your feelings about this subject.
We must never forget the service of those who risk their lives for us. I hope we can all take pride in the fact that South Korea is now free and a major democratic and economic power in the world today. America is now prepared to defend our own democracy.
That's right. We, as Americans, need to support the soldiers of our country. Thank you, Bill, for joining us and celebrating Veterans Day.