Longs' Cards and Books, Penn Yan NY
Long Buried Memories of Heroes Come to Life
Through 37 Years of Trust Building Friendship
A dentist working for the Veteran Administration for thirty seven years transforms doctor-patient relationship into the sharing of long buried memories by his heroes.
That is exactly what Patrick J. Bastow, D.D.S., captures in My Heroes and Their Stories of Survival, just published and available directly from the author, Saturday, May 27 at Long’s Book Store in Penn Yan.
Unique among the many inspirational World War II books, “Doc” Bastow’s interaction with hundreds of vets over time developed an amazing level of trust and friendship. One of his patients would pause and say, “I’ve tried to forget this;” then came an outpouring of untold war events that moved both listener and teller.
The author admits being touched as stories unfolded. Unbelievable incidents were a common thread throughout these intimate stories of deprivation and brutality, kindness and pure luck.
From the myriad of stories shared, Dr. Bastow includes those of twenty individual veterans from both the Army and Air Force. One military woman, a nurse, is among the group. Most were prisoners of war in the European Theater; one POW survived the horrors of Japanese internment.
Many of the featured veterans are still alive and are so pleased their friend and now retired dentist has followed their urging him to share their stories in print. Besides describing their heroic survival, Dr. Bastow captures their dreams come true after service: sweetheart marriages, education, children, grands and successful business careers.
The book captures the essence of World War II heroism. Those who survived returned home but shared little of their experience for years. Even today, when “Doc” Bastow calls them “heroes” in the book title, he points out their general response. “No, the ones that didn’t make it are the heroes.”