Stars, Stripes and Corporate Logos
Author: Donald L. Gilleland
Date Published: April 5, 2018
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Donald L. Gilleland's, "Stars, Stripes and Corporate Logos," published by Black Rose Publishing is a memoir and a critical commentary of the many changes in society during the last few decades. Gilleland bravely broaches numerous subjects that are politically sensitive and expresses his often politically incorrect perspective. His astute observations of the shifting landscape of the cultural revolution and his no-holds-barred assessment of today’s dilemmas is a refreshing read for anyone over forty who thought they were alone with their views.
Gilleland writes about his trials and tribulations in overcoming his hardships as a poor Midwestern youth. How adversity and a strong work ethic helps him succeed over the course of his adventures. He writes about growing up in Alton, a small town in southern Illinois, his enlistment in the US Navy, College at Southern Illinois University, and later switching services and reenlisting with the US Air Force. He writes about his life in the corporate world and finally retirement.
Throughout his book, Gilleland highlights places he traveled. The first of his life experiences, he relates, is of growing up poor in the Midwest. As a youth, in the 1930’s he talked about working through many difficulties of growing up in a one parent home. It was his mother who cared for him during his formative years. His father was in the service during World War II and upon his return stateside became an alcoholic and eventually abandoned the family. Gilleland writes of his mother's influence; "As I was growing up my mother became my hero. Every positive value I have was instilled by her." Which made his mother's request that he earn some money and share with his siblings a task he could not turn down. He honored his pledge to his mother, long into adulthood helping his sister with much-needed assistance.
A few of his recollections demonstrated his strong work ethic and dedication to jobs that were less tasteful. He writes about a ship ride with a bunch of green sailors (green as in new, and in the face), puking their guts up, to working in the bowels of a slaughterhouse. However, his stick-to-it-ness helped him overcome many obstacles and move on to bigger and better jobs.
Other stories offer an exciting view into the ins and outs of a career military man from the chaos of Boot camp to navigating the 17 miles of Pentagon hallways. Gilleland tells of how he spent his college time as a theater major and how he met Peggy who would become the love of his life and his wife. To make ends meet while in college he was fortunate to find work within the theater department. His days at the university were followed by joining the US Air Force as a publicist. One extremely interesting job assigned to Gilleland when he was a Major was to work with the Joint Casualty Resolution Center (JCRC) which was tasked to find and recover the remains of the unaccounted men who fought in the Vietnam War and other campaigns. That job would have been a very difficult job diplomatically and emotionally. After 30 years of service, he started his transformation to corporate publicist and finally as a writer/author.
Gilleland doesn't spend a lot of time on each section of his life; instead, he takes the readers to each of his many jobs and shows how hard work, dedication, and perseverance paid off for him along with a sprinkling of the ups and the downs encountered on his journey. How the "Sound of success" has rung true for him in his life. Surely you'll want to know what that sound was for him, well the best way to find out is to read "Stars, Stripes and Corporate Logos," his wonderfully interesting life's saga.
Donald Gilleland, a prolific author of over 500 published articles in a variety of nationally and internationally circulated magazines and newspapers, and five published books:Â America: A Cultural Enigma, about major changes in our society over the last 50 years, published in January 2014;Â America: Where Great Things Happen,Â about exciting things Americans have done that received little news media attention,Â published in November 2014;Â America: An Exceptional Nation, aboutÂ why he believes God has blessed America to be one of a few nations to provide hope for the world in the 21stÂ century, published in July2015;Â America A Conflicted Nation,Â about issues for which Americans hold both positive and negatives feelings at the same time; and Stars, Stripes and Corporate Logos, memoir that discusses evolving challenges played against a backdrop of exciting adventures that made up Donâ€™s life.Â Â
Don knows what he is talking about when he writes about America. He has seen the changes with his own eyes. Donald Gilleland was born in 1935 and was raised in Alton, Illinois.Â He received a bachelorâ€™s degree in Communications from Southern Illinois University and earned a masterâ€™s degree in Public Relations from Boston University
Don served 30 years in the U.S. military: 8 years enlisted in the Navy and 22 years commissioned in the Air Force. Seven of those years he served in joint assignments working for the Army, so he literally served with three major branches ofÂ the armed forces. His memoir, â€œStars, Stripes and Corporate Logos,â€ share many of his views and experiences he witnessed.
After retiring from the military, Don worked for the LTV Aerospace and Defense Company for three years as director of public relations and advertising for its AM General Division in South Bend, IN.Â His principal focus there was introducing the U.S. Armyâ€™s newest vehicle to the public: the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), often called a Humvee.
Â From 1987 to 1994, he worked for General Dynamics Corporation where he served for seven years in Sterling Heights, Michigan as director of communications for its Land System Division, which builds the Abrams Main Battle Tank.Â
Later he served at the corporate headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia as corporate director of public affairs, where he was responsible for worldwide news media relations, until he retired in 1994.
Politically independent, Don is a frequent contributor toÂ Florida TodayÂ and TC Palm, both daily Florida newspapers, andÂ Veroâ€™s Voice, a monthly community magazine published in Vero Beach, FL.
Don has visited 35 countries on five continents, and he and his wife, Peggy, have lived in 12 states.Â They presently reside in Melbourne, FL.Â They have been married for 59 years.Â He is an Evangelical Christian who serves as an usher at the Calvary Chapel Melbourne/Viera church located in Viera, Florida.