Soldiers of the Freedom Rock: Stories of Guthrie County Iowa's Combat Veterans tells the historic tales of 26 veterans from rural, south central Iowa. The battlefield dramas span from World War II through the most current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, including compelling stories in the air, on the ground, and at sea. Author Brick R. Imerman, a retired Navy F/A-18 Hornet squadron commander, was encouraged by local readers to write this book after penning a six-month veterans series, entitled The Freedom Rock Series, which appeared in the local newspaper. Imerman's stories of local combat heroism were used as inspiration by nationally-rewned artist Ray Bubba Sorensen for his artwork on the Guthrie County Freedom Rock Veterans' Memorial, which was painted in Guthrie Center, Iowa, during the summer of 2014. Soldiers of the Freedom Rock intertwines the tales of combat heroism with the painting of the Freedom Rock to create a moving tribute, t only for the veterans described in the book, but for veterans and freedom lovers everywhere. Full color with over 100 historic photographs, Soldiers of the Freedom Rock documents one small corner of the larger mosaic of combat heroism from our nation's military. Included in the book: firsthand accounts from airmen in B-24 and B-17 bombers who braved the skies above Nazi controlled Europe, some who gave their lives, and others who were shot down, but lived to tell about it; the story of a soldier who survived both his Sherman tank sinking off Omaha Beach on D-Day and blazing tank battles in the Ardennes, only to be killed mere weeks before war's end; a sailor's story of bravery firing from a tiny gun mount on the destroyer USS Hoel into the giant Japanese battleship Yamato before perishing beneath the waves at the historic Battle off Samar; the daring tale of a 15-year-old British girl who was nearly killed the first day Nazi bombers attacked London, who went on to serve her nation, ultimately becoming a U.S. citizen; and dozens of other riveting stories spanning through Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Including the stories of eight officers and 18 enlisted personnel - ranking from Private to Major General - from the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force, Soldiers of the Freedom Rock has a story for every veteran, male or female.
Commander Brick R. Imerman, U.S. Navy (Retired) spent 21 years as a strike fighter pilot for the military. A native Iowan, he graduated from the University of Iowa, subsequently earning a master's degree from the Army's School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. During his military career, Commander Imerman logged nearly 3,000 hours of flight time in single-seat tactical fighters, including the F/A-18 Hornet and the A-7E Corsair II. He also recorded over 600 landings aboard 10 different aircraft carriers. Most notably, Imerman served as Commanding Officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 147 aboard the USS John C. Stennis following the terrorist attacks of 9-11. His squadron joined the hunt for Osama Bin Laden at Tora Bora, and upon return to the United States earned the Battle E award as the Pacific Fleet's finest F/A-18 squadron. Among his numerous personal decorations: the Bronze Star (Afghanistan), two Meritorious Service Medals, and three Air Medals (Afghanistan and Iraq).