Author of New Novel –OUR DUTY—to speak at Hedgehog.INK Feb. 21

Gerri Hilger

Hedgehog INK will soon host a former Ft. Scott Middle School teacher as she shares her recently published historical fiction, OUR DUTY.

Gerri Wetta Hilger taught 7th & 8th English at FSMS in the last years it was the “castle” on National Avenue.

The main heroines of the book are Hilger’s mother Pauline Garrity Wetta and her best friend, Agnes Beat Pauly.

Though “mostly true” the book is considered fiction due to created scenes and dialogue to add to the flow of the novel which presents a different perspective of WW II.

Much of the setting of the beginning chapters takes place at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita where the young women are student nurses. Sedgwick County Kansas with farm families struggling on the home front, and workers at Boeing Aircraft manufactured unbelievable numbers of bombers for the war effort.

Hilger will speak about the characters and events of OUR DUTY and sign copies at Hedgehog Books INK, 16 S. Main in Ft. Scott on Feb. 21 at 6:00 PM.

        OUR DUTY opens with Polly and Aggie, as student nurses at St. Francis.  Because WW II is raging, nurses are at a shortage, so student nurses work many hours with patients in addition to attending classes and mastering the medical information.  Even as they struggle to graduate, the young women find time for plenty of shenanigans to entertain readers, lending a lighter tone than most WWII works.

After graduation Aggie joins the military where she qualifies as a flight nurse and becomes part of the Army Air Corp.  Through her letters, some of the difficulties faced by this under-recognized group of brave women, including their initial lack of respect by the military brass, are detailed. In addition to tending wounded, Aggie’s life is intertwined with airmen who faced unimaginable dangers in the skies over Europe that will change them forever.  Later she nursed the wounded on long flights over the Pacific to medical facilities in Hawaii and later on home to San Francisco.

While Aggie is in the military, Polly stayed behind to work many extra hours on the maternity floor at St. Francis Hospital which was still short staffed due to the War.  She entertains Aggie and boosts the morale of any who are privy to her letters describing romantic adventures and escapades. By the end of the historical novel, several seemingly unrelated military characters are brought together as they return home.

OUR DUTY has recently been awarded 5 out of 5 stars by Chanticleer Book Reviews. Comments include “In Our Duty, Hilger tackles the hefty topic of why some people enlist while others try their hardest to stay home. It should be noted that all of the characters’ reasons for avoiding war have everything to do with family responsibilities and less to do with worrying about whether or not one may die as a result of enlisting. . . Hilger has gifted us with a WWII historical fiction on the lighthearted side with an enjoyable sweet romance. “

Signed copies will be available for purchase at the Hedgehog presentation. Hilger looks forward to seeing friends, and answering questions about the novel..More information on Facebook—Gerri Hilger Author or contact:

Book Trailer


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