Preserving the legacy of WWII veterans, one story at a time.
The Merillat Project will be a published book, containing a collection of personal war time photographs and personal accounts from these humble heroes of WWII.
The motivation behind the book project is the realization that World War II veterans are dying at a rate of over 1000 a day while many Americans, especially our younger generation, know very little about what – and who - and why these men and woman are considered the Greatest Generation and the freedoms they helped to preserve. History books do a great job of explaining the dates and places of key events but rarely do they show the personal stories of those who are the face behind those facts. While over 16 million Americans served during WWII, this project is an attempt to bring a handful of personal stories to light. Whether they served on land or the sea, across the world in combat or here stateside, male or female, each of these veterans were necessary to help the great cause of freedom.
Author Melinda Merillat is a columnist and freelance writer for several magazines in Texas and Georgia as well as a radio talk show host. Melinda grew up in a military family, with both her father and brother serving in the Air Force. Her Aunt serves in the Marines, and son-in-law serves in the Air Force. Working with the military and organizations that serve them has been a passion of Melinda’s for many years. In 2009 Melinda and her daughter organized the first "Houston Run for the Fallen" in honor of her nephew, Marine Scout Sniper Cpl. John R. Stalvey, who was killed in action on October 3, 2005 while conducting operations near Karbala, Iraq. When not writing, Melinda spends her time working with these organizations in an effort to support our veterans and service men and women.
Karie’s grandfather served in the Navy during WWII, her father served in the Air National Guard, and her nephew currently serves in the U.S. Marines. Being instilled with a respect for those who served and the importance of learning history, Karie’s interest in the military continued to grow more fully as a teenager in High School years ago after interviewing a Vietnam veteran for a history project. Karie remembers feeling a profound impact from that interview, “I went away astounded and thought to myself that these personal stories of sacrifice, brotherhood, honor, duty, loss, pain and healing need to be told. These are the real stories that make up the foundation of maintaining our freedoms and we all need to hear them.” Years later, in 2009 Karie would team up with Melinda, initially providing photography as they worked together interviewing veterans for the book. As the writing project has continued, Karie has stepped to the front as she continues to interview and photograph veterans, gathering their personal stories and experiences during the war.