Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is this an "unauthorized" biography?
A: After nearly 18 months of working together, unfortunately Joe, his family, and Steffan were unable to come to an agreement on contract language. "Life, Liberty & Resilience" is an accurate account of an amazing life both pre-war, during WWII, and post-war. The project was completed after more than 100 hours of interviews, hundreds of hours of research and nearly 50,000 miles of travel.

Q: Why write the book?
A: "Life, Liberty & Resilience" profiles an incredible American who dealt with racism, segregation and hate - even while in a United States Navy uniform. Joe's story is representative of what tens of thousands of African-Americans of his generation dealt with for decades. The public's interest surrounding WWII is extremely high and Steffan feels it is vital to convey the stories of these great Americans while we are still able.

Q: How many WWII veterans do we lose every day?
A: According to some of the most accurate government statistics, nearly 1,000 WWII veterans die every day in the U.S.  Their stories must be captured before the Greatest Generation is gone.

Q: Is "Life, Liberty & Resilience" appropriate for high schoolers?

A: Yes. There are scenes of violence, but they are conveyed in as tasteful a manner as possible. The word "nigger" does appear within select pages - an unfortunate part of our history. The story conveys the American spirit and is an uplifting, eye-opening, and thought-provoking book. Discounts are available to schools, book clubs and military groups.

Q: What was traveling back with veterans to Iwo Jima really like?
A: In a word: amazing. Our veterans as part of The Greatest Generations Foundation were able to return with respect and dignity and able to experience a place they never thought they would see again. There were tears, prayer and even laughter as the men recalled their time on the island.

Q: I have a family member who doesn't talk about his service. Any advice to have them open up?
A: This is a tough one. Obviously it all depends on the individual, but we find when they are around their fellow veterans they often open-up. One approach is gently reminding them how important their service was to our country, and how younger generations will benefit from hearing their stories. You can check with your local VA office, VFW or veterans organization to find information on support groups in your area.

Q: A relative of mine has an amazing story. How can we get his story documented?
A: Feel free to contact Steffan. There are millions of WWII stories that have yet to be told, and soon will be lost forever. We may not be able to respond to every inquiry, but we will try. You never know: it could be the next book!