Published posthumously, the idea to produce this book was conceived after Jim Byers experienced retrocognition – a vision from the life of his grandfather who had died 40 years earlier. Little did Jim know that this was actually his first psychometry reading. Learn more about this experience on the Psychic Blog.
My American Odyssey is a compelling story derived from a war journal kept by Donald Byers during his service with the 337th Infantry Regiment of the 85th Division in World War II. He documents his light-hearted induction into the Army, the rigors of basic training, and his stark introduction to the reality of war in Italy. As the war progresses, his outlook on the mission and life begin to change as he endures grim scenes and living conditions that no one should ever experience.
Edited by his grandson, James Byers, the book includes maps and photos as well as letters from home and sent home as the war dragged on. The latter part of the book outlines Donald’s readjustment to civilian life and how he tried to make the promises he pledged to himself while in Italy come true when he returned home.
"On December 30, we packed our duffel bags and rolled our packs. The next morning found us on a train headed for the boat. And still we were wise cracking Boy Scouts. We filed up the gangplank to head for who knew where. There were no bands playing and no crowds to see us off, just a few gray-haired ladies serving black coffee to the tune of drizzling rain pattering on the tin roof of the pier. The ship was the H.M.S. Andes, of the British Royal Mail Line, and had been launched only two years prior to the war. Before we settled down in our compartment on the F Deck, we got a tour of the ship. Our guide got lost. We spent New Years Eve on board and pulled away from the pier at 1030 on January 1, 1944. As I stood on deck watching the United States slip away from me, old familiar faces and places went past my eyes in a kaleidoscope of memories. After I could no longer see the shoreline, I looked out across the ocean toward the imaginative question mark in front of us."
Buy the Book to read letters written home to family and friends as well as Don Byers' personal accounts about his service as a wireman for the Headquarters Company of the 337th Infantry Regiment. The Regiment was part of the 85th Division, 5th Army which served in Africa and Italy during World War II.
"At 0930, we moved along Highway 65 to San Pelligrino. The Colonel was five miles ahead. Krauts were sure pulling out fast. The radio was more useful than the wire — we couldn't keep the wire in. We were held up by German snipers at night on our way across the valley to a command post. We would be under direct observation in the day, but the trip was quiet. I felt scared when we first started, but I was okay after a hundred yards. We helped the Second Battalion operate. We stayed overnight in a house that was on top of a small hill in Visignano. Eight G.I.'s were dead in the next room."
Buy the Book to read Don Byers' personal accounts about his experiences serving as a wireman during 5th Army battles German forces thru Italy during World War II.
"We've been through a lot, but no more that many others have been through. We hope that the Lord will see fit to bless us with more children to fill these empty arms. We have accepted our misfortunes as being a part of life. Some folks think that we should go through a long mourning period and be bitter because others have children and we don't. But that attitude would solve nothing. We three had such a happy time that only happy memories color our thinking."
Buy the Book to read about Don Byers' and the personal battles he fought after the War.
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