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Local resident writes of military childhood

Posted: November 19, 2008 10:26 p.m.
Updated: November 20, 2008 4:30 a.m.
Eileen Granfors contributed her story about growing up with a military father in the book titled "A Cup of Comfort for Military Families." Eileen Granfors contributed her story about growing up with a military father in the book titled "A Cup of Comfort for Military Families."
Eileen Granfors contributed her story about growing up with a military father in the book titled "A Cup of Comfort for Military Families."

Santa Clarita Valley resident Eileen Granfors was eager to share her experience growing up in a military family and found an opportunity to share her story in a collection of inspirational stories - "A Cup of Comfort for Military Families."

Granfors' article, "On Time or Else," was published in the book on Nov. 17.

"A lot of what I write is based on my childhood with a very military father. When you're a child you think, ‘who is this nutcase and how am I going to survive it?' But as an adult you learn that the discipline has a reason," Granfors said. "The article is about my experience from first grade through high school with trying to match my father's expectations."

Granfors said her father served on the carrier USS Enterprise in World War II.

"After the war, jobs were hard to find so he enlisted in the Army and those were my childhood years," she said. "After that, he was in the Army Reserves for a long time."

Granfors was a teacher for the William S. Hart Union High School District for 34 years. She also served as a department chairwoman, yearbook advisor, newspaper advisor and a mentor teacher. Her family's military background helped her develop discipline which she carried into her teaching career and every other aspect of her life.

"When I walked into a classroom I knew I should be prepared and not just hang out with the kids. It also gave me a great sense of obligation and responsibility for my country," she said.

The "Cup of Comfort" series is a collection of books that address specific topics. Each volume includes an assortment of extraordinary stories with similar themes from writers in all stations of life. In "A Cup of Comfort for Military Families," writers with military backgrounds share encouraging stories of experiences on the home front.

"When I saw the title of this book, I thought about how different my experience was." Granfors said. "As I went through the chapter titles, I saw a story from somebody at West Point who is training to go to Iraq or Afghanistan. His point of view is going to be pretty heart-wrenching. And then you have someone like me, who grew up after World War II. We lived in Germany and we were the outsiders. This book provides the full spectrum of what it's like to be the person waiting at home and what it's like to be the man on the battlefront. I think this particular title comes at a good time, when so many reservists are being taken out of their communities to go far away. It will serve a purpose for a lot of people and bring them comfort."
Granfors retired from her teaching career in 2006, after which she took creative writing classes through a University of California, Los Angeles extension program. She has published works in a several magazines, including Good Old Days Magazine and Ozarks Mountaineer. She also wrote a tribute to her mother published in The Signal for Mother's Day in 2001.

"Creative writing has been a comfort to me, especially since losing my mom. That was probably the first creative writing that I did - when I started to write about my mom," Granfors said.

"A Cup of Comfort for Divorced Women" will publish Granfors' article "Bruised but not Broken" in March 2009. She is also working on a fictional novel, "Stairs of Sand." Granfors lives in Newhall with her husband Patrick. She has two adult children, Alisha, who lives in New York, and Aaron, who lives with his wife Megan and two children in Ohio. When not writing, Granfors enjoys spending time with her black Lab and visiting her vacation home in Missouri.

"A Cup of Comfort for Military Families" is available at major bookstores and at


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