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Meet Author GILBERTA GUTH

As a child, the experience of watching the effects of war on my community and my family helped shape my character— I learned early on about patriotism and sacrifice. These values were later reinforced by my experiences as the wife of a jet fighter pilot.

Raised by grandparents in the thirties and forties in a household of aunts and uncles, I was eleven years old when World War II broke out. I watched as six of my seven uncles went off to military service, the two youngest just out of high school. One aunt went to work in an aircraft assembly plant; another remained behind to help fill the shortage of teachers as she waited for her fiancé to return from the war. A third daughter, my mother, had left the family hometown shortly after I was born, when she and my father divorced. She worked as a secretary in the Office of Price Administration and other government offices during and after the war.

In the window of my grandparents' house there was a card displaying six blue stars, one for each of the family's sons serving in the war. Gratefully, none of the blue stars were replaced with a red one, symbolizing "wounded in action," or, worst of all, a gold one, symbolizing "killed in action." My grandparents saw all six of their sons return safely, their youngest daughter return from her job in the airplane assembly plant to resume her profession as a hairdresser; their second daughter marry her fiancé upon his safe return from the war; and their eldest daughter, my mother, turn from wartime secretarial positions to working in more peacetime-oriented government offices.

During my first two years of college I discovered my love for writing and journalism. Instead I graduated with a teaching credential. After graduation, I taught for two years, then married an Air Force jet fighter pilot and lived in Japan, Europe, Central America and througout the continental United States while raising four children. Following my husband's Air Force retirement I earned a Masters Degree in Education specializing in career counseling. After the Vietnam War ended I was hired to design and implement a full employment services program for Southeast Asian refugees in San Francisco. Later on I was hired to design and direct a similar program for a community based agency serving Novato, California.

Now pursuing my first love, writing and journalism, I hope to share with others the poignancy of the lives of those who offer themselves in the service of the armed forces.

Author, Gilberta Guth

 

Gilberta Guth at age 22

 

Joe and Gilberta, 1953

Thank You Gilberta. From the Thunderbirds.

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