by Kendall Watson, Staff Writer
On a warm, late summer's afternoon, writer Gilberta Guth was enjoying her harvest: a first book.
Dozens of guests and their families attended a formal book launch and signing on Saturday of ""The Fighter Pilot's Wife," a memoir of her years spent married to her first husband, Joe Guth, a former Air Force fighter pilot.
The idea for the book came after Joe succumbed to cancer in 1998. Guth eventually sought an outlet for her grief in letters he had written while fighting in the Korean War.
"We conducted our courtship through those letters," Guth said.
She decided to compile them on her computer as a record of their relationship for her children.
"My journalist daughter read them and said, 'Mom, I think you have a book here,'" Guth said. "It ended up being the story of a military family."
The book begins with letters, building a relationship in the midst of conflict. The latter half of the story is largely based on her memories of their time together. Through the prism of the military family, she reveals the trials and experiences unique to her: A family on the move, with four children born in three different countries, facing the constant threat of death.
The book is dedicated in her husbands memory. In 2002, Gilberta Guth married Howard Pierson, a former flying school classmate and longtime family friend.
She's hopeful the book will serve as a timely reminder of the loved ones who service members leave behind, and the dangers they face.
"The real price paid for any war is the loss to their families back home," Guth said.
Ten percent of all proceeds will be donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to provide assistance to families of servicemembers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The fund is currently funding the construction of a state of the art facility, Center for the Intrepid, to aid disabled veterans from those conflicts.
Guth has scheduled several book signing events in Marin, appearing at the Aldersly Retirement Community in San Rafael Sept. 20, The Book Place in Novato Sept 23, and Barnes and Noble, 2550 Taylor St., San Francisco Sept. 30.
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Update: The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is now dedicated to providing rehabilitation services to troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. This state of the art facility, the Center for the Intrepid, opened on January 29, 2007. Guth continues to tour and talk to groups across the United States.