World War II Letters: A Soldier Thanks His Parents

Missing home!

 In this letter, Dad expresses his deep gratitude to his parents for their kindness for his childhood and for their taking care of Bonnie, his wife while he was far away.  My mother moved in with Dad’s parents in October 8, 1945, and they took good care of her while Dad was in the Pacific on Guam, where even after the war, he was on guard duty and in charge of air plane and Jeep parts, as he dispensed needed equipment whenver there was need.  Mom was then pregnant with me, and I was due to arrive in March of 1946.  Dad would be home for the birth.

October 30, 1945
Guam

Dear Mom & Dad,

     I received your package the other day , and that Pop-Ade tasted better than it ever tasted before.  All of the fellows enjoyed it to the fullest.  Thanks a million for it.  I have the new strings on my guitar and it sounds wonderful.  This cigarette case is just what I wanted.  I have Bonnie’s picture in it, and it’s perfect.  I still have some Pop-Ade left.  Thanks again for everything.

     Mom and Dad, no matter how hard I try, I’ll never be able to tell you how much it means to me that you love Bonnie and want her to stay with you while I’m gone.  In her letters she keeps telling me how wonderful and peaceful it was there with you.  She said it was like heaven in your home and being able to stay there.  She was happy for the first time since I left.  I’ll never be able to thank you enough.  Bonnie and I love you with all our hearts.  You have always done without what you needed for yourselves to see that we kids were happy and had what our hearts desired.  When I was smaller I didn’t realize it, but now that I’m older and have learned to know and understand people better, I know just how wonderful my parents are and what a good home I’ve always had.  We kids never really tried to thank you, because we were too young to know how lucky we were.  Violet was out of work and needed you, and you were right there waiting to help.  Now you have done more for Bonnie and me than I can ever thank you for.  I’ve been so worried about Bonnie, but now after the 8th of November, I know I can calm down.  You’ll never know what it means to me.

     Well, things look pretty bright for us now.  I found out this evening that by a week from today, we’ll know just what the score is on coming home.  I think I’m pretty safe.  I’ll know soon though.  I don’t think it will be long before your problem child will be calling again at 2:00 in the morning the way he did when he came home from England.  Say, how far away from the South shore Station in East Chicago do you live?  Do you live within walking distance?  If you do, I can call when I get there to let you know I’m coming and then just walk home.  I know your phone number, 2220-W, right?

     Well, here I am planning and I’m not even on my way yet!  Ain’t I the guy,though?  I’ll write more again day after tomorrow.  God bless you and watch over you.  I miss you an awful lot.  Good night.  Write soon.

Your loving son,
     Elwood

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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