It is a cookbook designed to celebrate the good times in lives that ended too soon.
“Recipes and Remembrances of our Fallen Heroes,” recently published by Deborah Furnish McQueary Kleinschmidt of Columbus, is a collection of recipes for the favorite foods of 49 members of the U.S. military who were killed in the line of duty.
“I wanted a collection of recipes for family favorites or the kind of food you might take to a pitch-in or a party,” Kleinschmidt said. “I want the book to be about happy times and good memories.”
She came up with the idea after her son, Marine Sgt. Jeremy R. McQueary, was killed in Afghanistan on Feb. 18, 2010.
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The book is designed as a fundraiser, with profits donated to agencies devoted to helping injured veterans.
“After I lost Jeremy, I knew I wanted to do something to help other men and women serving in the military,” she said. “I felt very strongly that he would want me to do something to help his living brothers and sisters in arms.”
Kleinschmidt said she explored several ideas to help raise funds to assist injured veterans before settling on the cookbook.
She has sold nearly 200 books since March and has just ordered a second printing of 200 more.
“Jeremy was always happy when I made him a Wasp Nest cake. I was thinking about how he smiled when I made it for him, and it was good to have that happy memory. It made me think that it would be nice to collect the favorite recipes of other service members who have died. Maybe that would be a good way to remember them, too,” she said.
It took Kleinschmidt three years to compile the book, which is filled with 154 recipes for appetizers, soups, salads, side dishes, main dishes, breads and desserts.
Families of fallen soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines from across the United States sent copies of their heroes’ favorite recipes to Kleinschmidt.
Most of the recipes are favorite foods of service members killed during the war on terrorists since Sept. 11, 2001, but there are also recipes from other eras.
“It’s a way of sharing the good times with them after they are gone,” said Kleinschmidt, who learned earlier in life how to continue living after losing a loved one.
She was 35 when her husband, Dallas McQueary, died of colon cancer in 1992 at age 39, leaving her to raise Jeremy and daughter Rebecca.
“I had to go on. I had the children to think of,” she said. “I wanted their lives to be as happy as possible.”
In 1999, Deborah McQueary married David Kleinschmidt, and the family continued on.
Jeremy enlisted in the Marine Corps shortly before he graduated from Columbus East High School in 2002. He survived two tours in Iraq, including a roadside bomb attack in 2008.
Afterward, he returned to Columbus and married Rae Profit, who was also from Columbus. The couple moved to Nashville, Indiana, where their son, Hadley, was born.
He returned to active with the Marine Corps and died when Hadley was 5 months old.
The Kleinschmidts continue to live in Columbus, spending time with hobbies and Deborah’s grandchildren.
Copies of the “Recipes and Remembrances Cookbook of Our Fallen Heroes” cookbook are available for $10.
Author Deborah Furnish McQueary Kleindschmidt is selling copies of her book at county fairs and athletic events. It can also be ordered by calling 812-372-1607.
Profits will be donated to three agencies: Semper Fi Fund, Americus Fund and Carolina Patriot Rovers.