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Donna King-Nykolaycuyk

Connection to Illinois: King-Nykolaycuyk lived in Illinois.

Biography: Donna King-Nykolaycuyk is a freelance writer who is currently a member of the Chicago Writers Association. Stand Like a Man is her debut novel. Upon hearing her husband's grandfather's WWII and life experiences Donna felt compelled to write his story.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; History; Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Stand Like A Man: The Story of Duke The Indian

King's Daughter Publishing 2015

From Donna King-Nykolaycuyk, the World War II story of Cpl. Loren Duke Abdalla. The great-grandson of Chief Running Bull of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, Loren Duke Abdalla endured a harsh life growing up during the Great Depression. In his youth, he was a fighter, studying the techniques of boxing legend, Joe Louis. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943 and was known as “The Indian”, due to his heritage. Duke served under Colonel Chesty Puller with the 1st Regiment during World War II in the Pacific and survived the bloody Battles of Peleliu & Okinawa. Facing civilian life, he struggled to cope with the memories of battle. Told in its honest simplicity, the story of Duke reveals a vital, personal account of a man with an indomitable spirit, seeking peace after experiencing the horrors of war. Cpl. Duke Abdalla was merited 69 years later with a review of his service for the Medal of Honor—and this is his story. “Donna King-Nykolaycuyk's tribute to Duke through her book, Stand Like a Man is truly amazing. This book was superbly written. Schools should include this book as reading assignments so our young folks do not forget the history of that era. I would really like to see the book made into a movie one day.” —Jean Miller, Director of Development, Retired, Howe Military Academy “Donna King-Nykolaycuyk profoundly captures Duke as a young man with a fighting spirit who became the battlefield warrior that made the Marine Corps legendary. Duke fought on beaches, jungles and hilltops against a ferocious enemy that neither gave nor took quarter. I am thankful to Donna for her devotion to Duke and for elegantly preserving the heroics of Duke “The Indian” Abdalla. I am honored to call Duke my friend.” —Richard C. Daniels, Attorney "Donna King-Nykolaycuyk's writing about this WWII Hero is phenomenal. Duke’s Battle experiences are described Firsthand but what touched me most was the battle he fought when he came home with the memories of war and his price was the loss of everything, including his family. Duke's self-discipline to overcome in the years when PTSD was only talked about in whispers and his ability to overcome and do the right thing is inspiring!" —Mick Grady, Founder—V-SPANN Veterans Special Programming American News Network