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Book Club Event featuring William Edward Alli and his book: “Too Young for a Forgettable War: Second Edition”

ATAA Turk Evi, 1526 18th St. NW Washington, DC 20036
July 31, 2013 (06:15 PM - 08:15 PM)
                   

Book Club Event featuring William Edward Alli and his book: “Too Young for a Forgettable War: Second Edition”.

Refreshments will be served.

When: Thursday, July 31, 6:15pm
Where: ATAA Turk Evi, 1526 18th St. NW Washington, DC 20036
Program:
6:15 pm Refreshments and Socializing
6:50 pm Introduction
7:00 pm William Edward Alli Talk and Q&A
7:30 pm Book Signing and Discussion
8:15 pm End of Event

The book will be on sale at the event for $15.

The event is free but RSVP is required. To reserve, please e-mail bookclub@atadc.org

This event is supported by Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA).

WILLIAM EDWARD ALLI – Sergeant, US Marine Corps – Korea, 1951-52

As a high school student, William Edward Alli joined Detroit’s 17th Infantry Battalion, United States Marine Corps Reserve, in January 1950, ten days after his 18th birthday. He went on active duty when his unit was sent to Camp Pendleton California in August, some nine weeks after the beginning of the Korean War. After boot camp and advanced infantry training, he arrived as a Private 1st Class in Korea in March 1951 and was assigned as a machine-gun ammo carrier with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. He returned as a Sergeant to the US in April 1952. In 1952 he rejoined the Marine Reserves as an Air Intelligence Noncommissioned Officer, stationed at Grosse Ile Naval Air Station Michigan. Using the G.I. Bill, he attended Wayne State University and graduated with a B.A. and M.A. in Economics. He worked for the US Department of Labor between 1958 and 1970, including two years as a Foreign Service Officer in Pakistan. From 1970 until retirement in 1996, he worked for the US Agency for International Development in a variety of administrative management positions. He authored a bilingual dictionary (Basic Urdu and English Wordbook) for his agency and received the Government Employees Insurance Company’s 1995 Public Service Award for his contributions to the field of substance abuse prevention and treatment.
During the Department of Defense’s 50th Commemoration Program of the Korean War, he was a cofounder and activity director of the American and Turkish Veterans Association.



During the Department of Defense’s 50th Commemoration Program of the Korean War, he was a cofounder and activity director of the American and Turkish Veterans Association.
He is a member of the Korean War Veterans Association, Marine Corps Association, 1st Marine Division Association, Marine Corps League, American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. In 1974 he was made an Honorary Member of the Republic of Turkiye’s War Veterans’ Association.
He is married to Frieda Christine (formerly Pappas) Alli and has two sons, former Marines: Lt. Col. (Ret.) John W. Alli and Cpl. Robert T. Alli. His eldest daughter, Cynthia, is a supervisory physician with the Veterans Administration, and his youngest daughter, Mary, is a management consultant.

His father, Huseyin Kayma, was born in Harput Turkiye in 1895; he served briefly in the Ottoman Imperial Army, before immigrating to America in 1913. His mother, Mary Marrar Goan, was born in Tennessee in 1905.
His memoir, Too Young for a Forgettable War (first edition) was printed in 2009 and is an account of his Korean War experiences. It has been characterized as a vivid coming-of-age story in the most dangerous of environments. His Too Young for a Forgettable War: Second Edition is substantially larger and contains more archival material as well as photographs and other graphics; it was published early in 2013, in both paperback and Kindle E-book versions, available at Amazon.com.

The Second Edition is appearing close to the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Cease-fire, July 27, 2013. The US and North Korea have not yet reached a peace agreement. His book may help Americans to remember that “forgotten war.” At least, Bill hopes, his book can incline readers to believe that life’s dreams are not canceled out by life’s nightmares, nor its beauty by its ugliness, nor its worth by its tragedies.

ABOUT THE BOOK

This is a coming-of-age story, in the most dangerous of environments. The Turkish- American author takes you on a vivid journey to a war and back. You will follow admittedly naive and immature 18-year-old Bill Alli, as he is forced out of his peaceful civilian life in Detroit Michigan, in 1950. Eventually he is taken westward, across the Pacific Ocean, to a war-stricken country known as “Land of the Morning Calm.
His father, Hüseyin Kayma, (also at 18) had sailed thousands of miles westward across the sea. But “Hüso” was coming to America, leaving the dying Osmanlý Em- pire–and its Yemen-bound army unit–to avoid a looming war. Bill’ s fate would be different: he would experience war and maybe die a bloody death.
Bill describes the dangers, his stupid mistakes, and his physical shortcomings. The dangers turn out to be not only from the enemy’s weapons, but even from those of a Unit- ed Nations ally (the Republic of Turkiye), whose soldiers mistakenly arrest Bill as an “enemy agent.” That is clearly a justification for his execution.
He doubts that he will survive the war and is aston- ished, and grateful, that he does. But in civilian life he is mortally endangered twice, soon after his return to Amer- ica.
As a senior, Alli seeks his “roots,” but they are not those of lineage; they are those of memory. He even visits Korea and Turkiye to search for fellow American and Turkish veterans and compare his recollec- tions to theirs. He realizes that his story is tightly interwoven with that of his comrades, but there is a conflict between their desire to be helpful and their instincts to avoid bad memories.

He knows that old veterans do not want, or maybe aren’t able, to relive the past but he forges ahead. He is determined to describe not just grim memories, but even pranks and the light-hearted recollections of youthful days and foolish ways.
He explores deep recesses of his own mind as he puts words to paper. He convinces himself that there are no lurking dangers from any PTSD working in his subconscious, but gradually loses much of his certainty.

Three years after the first edition, he publishes a larger, more detailed, and lower-priced SECOND EDITION. This major revision has over 30% more text (100,000 words versus 75,000 in the first edition), 150 photos & grafix (versus 43 in the earlier version), plus a map of Korea, a more extensive bibliography, and a bigger topical index.
Bill hopes his book can incline readers to believe that life’s dreams are not canceled out by life’s nightmares, nor its beauty by its ugliness, nor its worth by its tragedies.
The Second Edition is appearing close to the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Cease-fire, July 27, 2013. The U.S. and North Korea have not yet reached a peace agreement. This book may help all of us to remember that “forgotten war,” – and honor its veterans.

“. . . a well-written book and an excellent reference work on the Second Battalion/First Marines in the Korean War.” Manert Kennedy, USMC Sergeant, Korea 1950-51
“. . . your book resonates with me and fills an important historical gap. . . . Your book stands as testimony that this sacrifice will not be forgotten.” David C Cuthell, Assistant Professor School of Foreign Service Georgetown University