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On Aug. 23, 2019, Life Care Center of Stoneham, Massachusetts, hosted a ceremony and cookout to celebrate the release of 82-year-old resident Arthur Talmadge’s book entitled “This Marine’s American Dream.”


During the ceremony, Talmadge’s son-in-law Britannic “Brit” Zane shared how Talmadge went about writing his book.


“Four years ago, when my father-in-law was 78 years of age, he had the idea to write this book and started clunking away on his ancient electric typewriter, using the single-finger method,” said Zane to the crowd. “He never dreamt that his life story would generate the level of interest that he is honored with today. He saw the crowd today and told me we’re going to need more books.”


In the independently published book, Talmadge details his time in the Marine Corps and the military police. During his service, he was stationed in several villages near Mt. Fuji, Japan, where he realized that, because he lived in the U.S., he enjoyed certain freedoms and privileges that others were not able to experience. Out of respect and thankfulness, he vowed to never waste the opportunities life had presented to him, so he sought out to achieve his personal American dream.


To Talmadge, this meant marrying his fiancée, starting a family with her and becoming a police officer, as that was his dream job. In his book, he recalls proposing to Penny, his girlfriend at the time, with whom he would go on to raise a family.


“I’m pretty sure she thought I was joking with her at first,” wrote Talmadge. “She took a pause to process before she smiled and said yes. I took the ring I got her out of the glovebox, put it on her finger, and then we shared our first kiss.”


Although Talmadge accomplished most of his goals, a serious vision impairment in his right eye prevented him from becoming a police officer. However, that was about to change.


Life Care Center of Stoneham residents and associates, as well as Talmadge’s friends and family and members of the Stoneham Police Department, gathered together at the facility, dressed in red, white and blue, in a patriotic display of celebration.


They had come to celebrate Talmadge’s life, his achievements and his book, but unbeknownst to him, they also intended to help Talmadge fulfill the final piece of his dream.


During the ceremony, Police Chief Jim McIntyre swore Talmadge in as an honorary officer of the Stoneham Police Department, presented him with a plaque to commemorate the event and thanked him for sharing his life story. Talmadge was overjoyed.


“I was so surprised,” Talmadge told The Boston Globe. “It was the most amazing day of my life. Having my family by my side made it even more special.”


Talmadge was also honored by Massachusetts Marine Corps League Commandant James Sottile and Massachusetts State Rep. Mike Day.


Following the ceremony, Talmadge stamped 50 copies of his book with his signature and donated the proceeds from the book signing to the Wounded Warriors Project and the Semper Fi Fund, both of which serve military veterans.


To hear Talmadge’s inspiring story straight from the source, look for his book on Amazon.com.

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