23 February 2013

Brothers in Arms

Brothers in Arms. Literally. Or at least as literally as you're likely to get with something like that. During World War II, my dad and his brother, my uncle Willie, were both in the Army.

On July 14, 1944, Willie was someplace in the Pacific. He was 25 years old, and had been in the Army for a year and a half. My dad was 23. He had just finished basic training at Camp McCain, Mississippi, and would shortly be deployed to Germany.

This is the v-mail, complete with censor's stamp, that Willie sent to my dad. My brother found it 67 years later, when he was cleaning my dad's office after he died.

Dear Ez,
As I sit here, with my pen in one hand and the other busily engaged in warding off all manner of insect life, I wonder: If you and I will ever do any of those many things we planned to do. If our interests and desires will still be as similar as they always were. If you will be able to wear my clothes and I yours. If I will still remain in the category of the "wolf of all wolves." If Gordon will still be as cynical and disgusted with mankind. If Red will continue to collect the classics and make music his heart's ease in life. If that girl from the flower shop will be as appealing as ever. If the Trianon will still be a hangout on Wednesday night for the Spevaks'. If this damned war will cease and I can give up letter writing and my thoughts see their answers. As all bad things, so this – it ceases.
Your brud,

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it nice to see how well these brothers got along? I can't imagine that happening nowadays; however, with our instant communication, I also can't see men that age writing letters! Thanks for sharing this -- you came from a loving family!