Authors Taylor Kiland and Judy Gray join {pages} to discuss their new book | Monday, May 22nd at 6:30 pm

{pages} a bookstore is pleased to welcome Taylor Kiland and Judy Gray, the co-authors of Unwavering: The Wives Who Fought to Ensure No Man is Left Behind on May 22nd at 6:30 pm.  Wine, cheese and good conversation will be served. We hope you can join us. This is a free event but RSVPs are appreciated.  RSVP HERE

About the book:

Unwavering is the compelling true story of the women who waged an epic home front battle to ensure our nation leaves no

man behind. When some of America’s military men are captured or go missing during the Vietnam War, a small group of military wives become their champions.

Never had families taken on diplomatic roles during wartime, nor had the fate of our POWs and missing men been a nationwide concern. In cinematic detail, authors Taylor Baldwin Kiland and Judy Silverstein Gray plunge you directly into the political maneuvering the women navigated, onto the international stage they shared with world leaders, and through the landmark legacy they created.

In the 1960s, most women were denied credit cards, car loans, and mortgages without a spouse or father

to co-sign. Military wives had greater restrictions. When a late-night knock on the door by a military

chaplain brought dreaded news, “Your husband is missing in action," they are warned to keep quiet.

In Unwavering: The Wives Who Fought to Ensure No Man Is Left Behind (Knox Press; May 2nd, 2023), authors

and military veterans Taylor Baldwin Kiland and Judy Silverstein Gray document the little-known history

and legendary perseverance of a small band of women who, against all odds, forever changed US foreign

policy. Amidst the tumult of antiwar protests and civil rights marches, a cadre of military wives became

accidental activists, galvanizing the nation around the plight of their husbands—some 1,500 men held

captive or missing in Southeast Asia.

In 1965, Sybil Stockdale had been married for two decades when she received the dreaded news. Her

husband, a Navy commander, was missing. She too was urged to keep silent about his predicament. “Leave

diplomacy to the professionals,” the U.S. government admonished. Frustrated by her government's lack of

progress, she reached out to other military wives who shared her pain: Candy Parish, barely twenty-three

and the mother of a three-week-old son when her husband went missing; Pat Mearns, living in Japan with

her two daughters when her husband was shot down on Veterans Day; and Carol McCain, the mother of

three young children, whose second husband, the future Senator John McCain, was imprisoned at the

Hanoi Hilton. These military wives were not content to simply commiserate over coffee and were

determined to “Go Public.”

With Mrs. Stockdale as their guiding force and de facto den mother, this tribe of ladies set out to raise

public awareness of POWs and MIAs, overcoming an indifferent political bureaucracy and compelling

the new president, Richard M. Nixon, to act. Forming their own organization, the National League of

Families, they launched campaigns and rallied thousands of military families to send telegrams en masse

to the White House on Inauguration Day. Traveling together, they confronted the North Vietnamese

delegation at the Paris Peace Accords. Defying military officials, they met with State Department officials

and foreign leaders, and spoke with the press. These brave, dedicated women and their allies made

bringing home our POWs and MIAs the focus of the Paris peace negotiations. The men’s release was the

only victory of the Vietnam War.

“Leave no man behind”—in times of war, it has become a mantra that the United States holds sacred. We

now expend unlimited resources on this strategic imperative, deploying special forces to rescue just one

POW, whether held in Bosnia, Somalia, or Iraq. It is no accident that we ended our longest war, in

Afghanistan, without a single POW or MIA. Yet this has not always been the case. In wars past, there

have been thousands of unrecovered missing men—72,000 in World War II and 7,500 in Korea. Placing a

priority on recovering all our missing men began during the Vietnam War—thanks to a small group of

fiercely determined women.

Their legacy endures. The United States now spends $130 million annually to comb the globe for every

missing man, fulfilling America’s promise to Leave No Man Behind. It was a promise made to a handful of

military wives more than fifty years ago. But this is more than a wives’ tale. It is the quintessential

American story of how a group of silenced women found their voice, forever changing the course of



About the authors:

Taylor Baldwin Kiland is a writer and ghostwriter specializing in military non-fiction.

Taylor has written, co-authored, ghost-written, or edited eighteen books, including three

about our nation’s Vietnam POWs: Unwavering: The Wives Who Fought to Ensure No Man is

Left Behind, Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton: Six Characteristics of High-Performance Teams, and

Open Doors: Vietnam POWs Thirty Years Later.

A former naval officer—the third generation in her family to serve in the Navy, Taylor was

raised in Coronado, California, and Alexandria, Virginia with many of the Vietnam POW

and MIA families. She spent twenty years in the private sector as a marketing

communications professional before starting her writing career. She holds a master’s degree

in marketing communications from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in

journalism from the University of Southern California. She now lives in Old Town

Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband and their daughter.

Judy Silverstein Gray has written numerous military profiles and feature articles about women leaders for news outlets, including The Tampa Tribune, publishing six books for young readers—five on military topics—and has work appearing in two literary anthologies. She has worked as a public information officer in both the private and non-profit sectors and teaches public health communication to graduate students.

The third generation of her family to serve in the military, Judy is a retired Coast Guard chief petty officer who has had a front row seat to historic events through her public affairs work. Throughout her pursuits, she has drawn on her fascination with storytelling to craft narratives about innovators and unlikely trailblazers. She lives with her husband in Tampa, Florida.

Event address: 
Unwavering: The Wives Who Fought to Ensure No Man is Left Behind By Taylor Baldwin Kiland, Judy Silverstein Gray Cover Image
ISBN: 9781637587379
Availability: In Stock
Published: Knox Press - May 2nd, 2023