May 21, 2022
When Sarajane Giere was asked by Tom Dutta why her story fits the hero's journey narrative, she wrote this:
"...it’s also my story and the journey of our 52 years of marriage. I’ve learned how my grief has turned to joy in the writing, how my pilot and I sacrificed for the sake of our marriage instead of each other, and lastly, how my gratitude grows and sustains me each day as I go forward."
Giere offers a uniquely intimate glimpse into the life of a military wife as she tells the story of her fighter pilot husband, Bernie, a Vietnam Veteran who flew 214 combat missions in the war. With soaring love and explicit honesty, she recounts the terror of the Vietnam years and the lifelong sacrifices that affected her pilot’s life and death.
Giere, a spunky military wife with a keen knack for storytelling, recounts her fighter pilot’s eventful Vietnam years through his handwritten letters and moving personal accounts. The harrowing shoot-down in enemy territory, the joy upon learning he had a son, and the loneliness of separation are among the many subjects covered. All the while, Sarajane worked with a local police detective to uncover evidence that brought one of her neighbors to justice. With a knack for detail, she recounts the uncertain years with Pan Am and her husband Bernie’s missions with the NY Air National Guard’s world-class 106th Rescue and Recovery Wing for 25 years.
The love that brought this intrepid couple together during their college years can be felt through the words on every page. Their bond remained strong for 52 years, helping them grasp the courage they needed upon learning of Bernie’s ALS diagnosis later in life. In telling their story, she honors her family, which includes the military community and the nation that she holds dear to her heart.
Author Giere's latest book, My Pilot A Story of War, Love and ALS, wraps the entire interview into a spectacular finish.
My Pilot has won three literary awards: The Independent Press Award, The Military Writers Society of America’s Silver Medal Award, and the NYC Big Book Award.