Author: Jan Elvin
Publisher: American Management Association, 1601 Broadway, NY, 10019
ISBN: 978-0-8144-1049-3

Click Here To Purchase The Box from Braunau: In Search of My Father's War 

The Greatest Generation,” is dying at a rate of over 1000 per day.  Time is running out to collect the stories of these people who stopped evil in its tracks and brought liberty to the world.  Jan Elvin was reminded of this when she saw the box from Braunau.  It rested on her brother’s desk, a smallish box lovingly carved and dated ‘Braunan 1944.’  It prompted her to look into her father’s war life and how it affected him when he returned.

She knew he was scarred.  Everyone in the house knew not go close to wake him from a sound sleep, that there could be no sudden noises, and that he had a strict firmness that allowed no rebellion.  While he loved them, he struggled to show affection to both his wife and his family, prompting her mother to divorce him.  With Ms. Elvin’s  research, she realized her father was suffering from what many soldiers suffer from, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The book jumps between two stories, the story of Ms. Elvin’s work to learn about her father’s role in the war and her father’s actual experiences.  She used her father’s war journal, written after the conflict, so we can read a first hand account of his battles.  What parts he didn’t write about, Ms. Elvin fills in the blanks with careful research.  It gives a vibrant, living real experience, a snap shot of some of the worst fighting in WWII.

The other part of the book is Ms. Elvin’s life with her wonderful, difficult father and her search to discover about those war years.  The attention she gives to fairly describing her father’s actions and reactions give the reader a picture of how a person with PTSD and his family suffers.  She also tells how the children suffer, giving the uninitiated a view of the life of a child in such a household.

She almost started her research too late, her father was close to death when she began exploring the box and the war.  While he did discuss some of his experience, Ms . Elvin had a great deal of research to do on her own.  Always a private man, near the time of his death he was able to begin to show his daughter his love, but he struggled to open up to the very end.  The many blanks were filled in by research, trips, and visiting with men with men who served in the 80th.

 Jan Elvin’s search gave her so much more than the facts behind the box.  It gave her back her father, the man he was and who he struggled to be to his family.

Click Here To Purchase The Box from Braunau: In Search of My Father's War