This is a post I’ve been wanting to write for quite a while, and today, the start of the Memorial Day weekend, seems a good time.
You may recall seeing this photo here before. That’s my grandmother with two of her six sons. Although she’s embracing both of them, the one she’s leaning toward is Bennie. He had been drafted, and I’m told that this was taken the day before he left to fight in WWII. That worry, known only by a mother, is so evident on her face.
Thankfully, Uncle Bennie returned from the war (after being held at and escaping from a prison camp) and lived a long, happy life, passing away in 2005, at the age of 84.
But, what I’ve been wanting to post about are some family mementos from Uncle Bennie’s time in the Army. My mom saved three postcards he sent to her and my dad during his days at boot camp. I recall seeing these as a young child, but never appreciated them until years later.
When I was very young, I asked my mom what this postcard meant: why did the soldier lose his taste for potatoes once he joined the army? This one is postmarked January 9, 1943, and was mailed from Paris, Texas.
I think Mom had to explain this next postcard to me, too, since, at that time, I’d never heard feet referred to as “dogs”. The postmark on this one is July 13, 1943, from Camp Maxey, Texas.
Although this next one is certainly a cute card, what makes it really special to me is not only the message on the back, but more importantly, how it is addressed.
My dad’s nickname was “Bow” (or “Bo”, or “Beau”), but I have no idea how he earned that nickname. No one I ever asked knew the answer. But it’s remarkable to me that, in 1943, a postcard sent from Texas, addressed to “Bow” (no last name) with the town name misspelled (it’s Bacon’s Castle, not Baker’s Castle) made it to its destination. And if you’re wondering, the “Donnie” he referred to in the message was my mom. I can’t quite make out the postmark date, but it appears to be November 13, 1943, and arrived in Bacon’s Castle on November 20.
Memorial Day was originally designated as a holiday to remember those who died while in service to their country. While being grateful for them, I’m also thankful that my family (especially my grandmother) didn’t have to know that sorrow.
~These Days Of Mine~