Letters from WWII

Last night I pulled out some old letters my grandfather wrote to my grandmother while he was serving in WWII. When I was younger I found these in a drawer in my grandparents house and would occasionally pull them out and read them. Now that my grandparents are gone, these letters are in my possession and are so precious to me.

As I read some of these letters last night I realized I get my soft heart and unconditional love from my grandfather as well as my grandmother. My grandfather was so in love with my grandmother! The words he used in his letters came straight from his heart. He would start his letters with “Darling” and would end his letters with “All my love forever”, “With all of my love, yours always”, etc. There was no doubt my grandmother was the love of his life!

In his letters toward the end of the war when he was back stateside he would talk about what he was doing that day which was anything from driving a truck, KP duty, having to dig a pit with a shovel or how tired he was that night. He also talked about when he did and didn’t receive a letter from my grandmother and how much her letters meant to him. In one of the letters from my grandmother to my grandfather, she had sent him a picture of her. He kept that picture in his wallet until the day he died. He told her in one letter how pretty she was and how he is going to wear his wallet out opening it and closing it so he could look at her picture. My grandfather never sang or showed much emotion when it came to music. So, I was surprised to read that he wrote he “had not received a letter that day” and was “hoping to receive one tomorrow” and if he “doesn’t he will have the blues”. He then went on to say he had “gone to the show and on the way back drove slow and sang all the way back. When I have the blues that’s what I usually do is sing at least try as long as no one is listening to me.”

My grandfather wouldn’t talk about the war. It wasn’t until after he died that I learned he was involved in the Aleutian Islands Campaign. If you’re not familiar with that, Japanese forces had occupied two of the islands. The islands were home to the Unangax̂ (Aleut) people who had to be relocated for their safety. It was a 15 month long battle and was the deadliest in the Pacific during WWII. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon, the American Theater Ribbon for his service in the Yukon Territory in Canada and 5 War Service Overseas Bars. It is apparent he witnessed and endured a lot of things during the war but he never let it harden his heart.

After reading these letters written during WWII, it was apparent the deep love my grandparents had for one another early on and that love continued through the years until the day they died. My grandparents set the example of what a loving married couple should be. I decided a very long time ago that I wanted to be as much like my grandparents as I could possibly be. How blessed I was to have them in my life!

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