When it came to the dedication of my first novel there were several people in my life who I wanted to thank, and for book number one, I chose my Uncle Ivor (he’s technically my great uncle), who has been a major inspiration to me. He was an amazing man and I wanted everyone to know and remember how the Americans from our Greatest Generation overcame in the face of overwhelming odds and adversity. If you’ve read anything about Operation Overlord, you’ll understand exactly what these men were asked to do.
This is my tribute to him:
Dedicated to the memory of Ivor Reginald Jones, Company HQ, 2nd Ranger Battalion.
He was welcomed to Pointe du Hoc, France by way of a mortar round on June 6, 1944. Although wounded from the blast, he bravely scaled the 100-foot cliffs as a part of those bold first steps to help his country liberate German-occupied Western Europe. Decades later, Ivor traveled to Normandy for the 60th anniversary of D-Day. He suffered a stroke while he was there, and when the French hospital ran into complications when trying to secure the medical payments from Blue Cross, the hospital’s Board of Directors informed his son that there would be no bill. They had said it was the least they could do for his service to their country. The board’s gesture personified the man, and the contrast in events from his first visit so many years ago underscored the purpose served by those original Rangers. In between that time, Ivor Jones helped to make his nephew George’s son the man he is today. He did so by believing in him and instilling words of wisdom that can only come from a man who was fortunate enough to survive the journey to hell and back. Thank you Uncle Ivor, for being the incredible man you were, a true hero among heros, and for leaving an indelible mark on my life. This one’s for you.
It’s been a tough week for me personally – I’m a fairly private person, so few of my friends know that my father has passed away. He was a remarkable man, and I loved him dearly – it’s difficult to write this post without thinking of him. He joined the Air Force in order to fight in the Korean War – he wanted to be like Uncle Ivor and his big brother Ivor, who had fought in the Pacific during WWII. His disappointment with being stationed in Texas and not sent into action was evident up until his final days, but his dedication to our great country has always been crystal clear. Before he left this world he made me promise to work harder on book number two – it was the kick in the ass I needed to take on the task. I love you Dad.