Of War & Weddings

By Jerry Yellin

Of War & Weddings

Of War & Weddings

This is the remarkable story of how a World War II Veteran of the Pacific makes peace with the nation and people of Japan decades after the war.

Jerry Yellin was a captain and fighter pilot going on many missions throughout the Pacific and over Japan. He is the last fighter pilot to fly a combat mission as the war was coming to a close.

When his youngest son decides to move to Japan, the door begins to open on pushed down memories and emotions that Mr. Yellin eventually, bravely, digs into, shares, and overcomes.

This journey includes multiple trips to Japan with his much-loved wife, Helene, as they explore their son’s adopted country and meet his fiancé. Along with meeting her is the all-encompassing gathering of family and friends. The honesty in the conversations Mr. Yellin has with the Japanese people he meets—both veterans and much younger folks—can flatten you. Their desire to understand each other is a lesson we can take to heart and apply in our own lives.

Mr. Yellin is a strong man who bares his soul in an effort, a successful effort, to push beyond the boundaries he has lived with for years and come through a broader, larger person on the other side.

The stories that interweave into one narrative are well-written, and although the theme of forgiveness and reconciliation is strong, there is no tone of preaching or sermonizing. There simply is the revelation of a life starting anew because of his son’s choices and Mr. Yellin’s own.

Note: We met Captain Jerry Yellin at the World War II Anniversary events at Fort DeRussy in December. Click here to read about that and the pleasure of meeting so many of our Veterans.

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