14 Jun Jimmy Gentry: Wisdom for Today from a WWII Veteran + Liberator
After returning home from WWII and his service as a liberator at Dachau Concentration Camp, Jimmy Gentry was determined never to speak about it again. “I kept thinking if I didn’t talk about it, it would go away.” But it didn’t, and in 1985 Jimmy met a concentration camp survivor who convinced him to share his experiences with others. Join Michael Easley in studio with Mr. Jimmy Gentry and hear from one of The Greatest Generation’s most honorable men about faith, love, hardship and legacy.
Jimmy Gentry was one of nine children who grew up in a working class Williamson County family during the Depression. At the age of 18 he went to war to help defend his nation. He was awarded two Bronze Stars for his actions during the invasion of Germany, and he was among the first Allied troops to enter Dachau, the infamous Nazi death camp. He returned to Franklin and became one of Williamson County’s most widely-known citizens, serving as a teacher and a coach for over 60 years.
In 2002, Jimmy published An American Life, a novel about a time that has all but disappeared – both in Franklin and in small-town America. An American Life gives one soldier’s account of surviving war and encountering horror, and tells what became of Williamson County over the years that followed the return of that soldier.