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WWII Radio Heroes: Letters of Compassion

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On August 20, 2009, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature an interview of Lisa Spahr the author of WWII Radio Heroes: Letters of Compassion. Lisa Spahr, a former volunteer firefighter, “is an investigative psychologist who owns a life coaching and consulting business in Pittsburgh PA. Ms. Spahr has an extensive history in the field of research for universities and private organizations, focusing on law and psychiatry research, military applications, and policing operations and tactics. Examples of her work include: examining the construct of psychopathy in prisoner and juvenile populations, and creating guidelines for suicide bomb response for police officers in the United States. Lisa Spahr said of WWII Radio Heroes: Letters of Compassion, “More than 60 years had gone by before I found them. Dozens and dozens of letters written to my family during WWII- from total strangers- to tell my great-grandmother that her son had been captured and was being held as a POW. How did they know this? Well, it seems that the short-wave radio had held all of the answers. POWs were allowed to state their names and hometowns on the radio, and sometimes relay a short message to their families. Scores of Americans, listening to the German propaganda from so far away, heard my grandfather's information, and took it upon themselves to write to my great-grandmother. All of these dear people wanted to give my great-grandmother a measure of comfort to know her son was alive.”