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Knowing Nevada: Nevada Goes to War

A new book, "Legacies of the Silver State: Nevada Goes to War", features more than seventy stories from WW2 veterans who lived in Nevada.
A new book, "Legacies of the Silver State: Nevada Goes to War", features more than seventy stories from WW2 veterans who lived in Nevada.
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December 7th, 2020 marks the 79th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This event projected the United States into World War II.

Many men and women died serving our country but many returned home to tell their stories from the war. Some of those veterans returned back home to Nevada and stayed here throughout the rest of their lives.

This period brewed up reports of the second World War and was being broadcasted live on this new invention called television. However, seeing through the glass tube is different than hearing it from the mouth's of those who fought the good fight.

Serving in the military during the 1940's is very different from now. If you've been lucky to speak with a WW2 veteran, they'll 'talk your ear off' with stories and tales that you could easily fill up a book about.

I met fellow journalists Steve Ranson just a short time ago. He's told me of a collection of stories he and his friend, Ken Beaton, have been working on.

It peaked my interest. So - we scheduled a time to meet and talk with about the authors of these stories. Turns out, his co-author, Beaton, and I have met before. I helped him tell a story about his uncle's time serving in World War 2. Beaton's uncle kept a small photo of Ken in his helmet during the war. That photo was returned home to his family after Beaton's uncle was killed in action in a firefight in Italy.

We gathered in the offices of the Nevada Appeal to go over some of the published articles, talk about the glory days of journalism, and, specifically, their new book Legacies of the Silver State: Nevada Goes to War.

I normally don't plug products - but this one is very different because it includes the stories from WW2 veterans who lived or were originally from Nevada.

Ranson and Beaton, with their help of their friend David C. Henley, collected more than seventy-one stories from seventy-one WW2 vets. Each are now published in their book.

"Sure, we've published these stories in newspapers and articles, but those can be thrown away," says Ranson.

We wanted to honor those who fought by putting the stories in something that has shelf life and can be passed down from generation to generation.

The catch? There isn't one.

Majority of the proceeds from the book go directly to Honor Flight Nevada - a non-profit group that sends veterans to memorials across the country so they too can see them.

"We owe it them and just the stories they tell aren't one's you'll hear today. Those are the stories that are fading so they need to be heard now more than ever," says Beaton.

By the time this story airs, the books are already out of stock on However, you can still buy the digital copy by clicking here.

Physical copies are located throughout Northern Nevada: Purple Avocado in Carson City; His Inspiration in Fallon; The Front Porch in Winnemucca.

Knowing Nevada is a historical heritage series that highlights some of the interesting, unknown, and known, tales about the state of Nevada. This series is researched and put together by our own native Nevadan, Miles Buergin. If you have any suggestions for our next Knowing Nevada, please e-mail him at:

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