Born and raised in Arkansas, Gary graduated with an undergraduate degree in English Education. After a stint in the US Naval Reserve as a hospital corpsman from 1968-1974, he earned his MA in Literature and his PhD in 19th-Century British Literature from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Gary taught in higher education for 35 years, retiring in 2012. His curriculum vitae can be found here. His interest in WWII stems from growing up in immediate post-war America. Like most of his generation, he was fascinated by the recent war, and his interest fed on a steady diet of movies, books, and comics. While serving two years at the Naval Hospital on Guam, he enjoyed searching for WWII relics in the jungles there.
As an English professor and a creative writer, Gary was intrigued by the fact that American sailors wrote poems for the first deck log of the year. The idea of researching the poems written during WWII was irresistible.
During retirement, Gary reads voraciously and has continued writing. He also enjoys traveling around the US in his 1995 Roadtrek camper van with his wife, Mary Ann, and their Corgi mix, Peanut. His website can be found here.