Letters From Home

November 12, 2007

Veterans Day initially began as Armistice Day celebrating the end of World War I at 11:00 am, November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). It became a national holiday in 1938 with the hope that it was “the War to end all Wars”. In 1954 President Eisenhower, following WWII and the Korean war, signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day. You may have known its origin, but I didn’t. It saddens and maddens me to know that we as a nation continue to perpetuate wars for there to be veterans of. Having said that, I’ll move on.

After my mom passed away, tucked away in a box in the fruit cellar, I found a collection of letters neatly tied together with a white grosgrain ribbon. I’ve read them several times. They are letters that my dad sent to my mom while he was stationed in Europe. They describe his activities, but only as much as would pass through security, evident by the stamp on each envelope. He talks about “swell” friends he has made, and the number of points they have accumulated, which must have had something to do with the length of their service. In some of them he shares adventures while they were “on leave”, assuring my mom that he behaved himself. None of the letters have even a hint of the war that left lifelong wounds. Those he kept to himself.

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Mostly they reveal the thoughts of a young man that longs to be home. And the lifeline to that place came in the mail. He numbers the days that have passed since he received mail, or he marvels that three have come in one day. In some of the letters, he replies to her several pages at a time. In a few he shares letters that he has received from other family members. Over and over again, the dependence on news from home seems to be what carries him along.

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Today I received an e-mail with a link to “Let’s Say Thanks”, a program designed to give us an opportunity to send letters in support of our servicemen. They can be written as you sit at your computer, and are included in care packages sent by “Give 2 The Troops”. You’ll find the links below, as well as a few others I have found that also can be sent to veterans here, as well as abroad. This seems to be a pretty good way to celebrate and honor our veterans. And give them that lifeline from home. I know my dad would have appreciated it.

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Let’s Say Thanks

Give 2 The Troops

America Supports You

A Million Thanks

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7 Responses to “Letters From Home”

  1. Hilary Says:

    Absolutely beautiful post and images. You brought that time to life.

  2. coffeypot Says:

    Thank you for the links. I am using them, too. Which one is your dad? Where did he serve? Have you posted about his servics before and I just missed it? Tell us about him, please.

  3. Tink Says:

    I get choked up thinking of Hoop overseas. It’s hard to imagine him so far away, in harms way. It’s hard to think of living off of the letters of your loved ones, hoping they have time to write and that they don’t forget about you. It’s easy for me to not think of these things because they aren’t happening to me or to anyone close to me. But your post put it into light. So, thank you!

  4. Adam Says:

    What a great story! I’d like to read my Mom’s letters 🙂

  5. mjd Says:

    This is a touching story. Those letters must be precious to you and must have been precious to your mom.

    A letter that I can type from my computer that is a good idea.

  6. daddy d Says:

    Great story. I did the e-mail to a soldier. I got it from my sister.

  7. Susan Says:

    What an amazing treasure to have all of those letters. I can still remember my mom writing endless letters while Dad was at sea. It wasn’t even war time, but it was really hard. I wish I had some of those letters…

    We’ll write to some soliders….


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