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Friday, February 18, 2005

Wouldn't You Like to Read Your Dad's WWII Letters to Your Mom?

Bloggers of a certain age - i.e. those of us who are Baby Boomers - likely have at least one parent who served during World War II. Odds are that it was your Dad and he wrote lots of letters to your Mom during the war.

Odds are good, too, that they were young and in love in those days, and, hard as it is for us to imagine, they probably endured all the separation anxiety, loneliness, homesickness and lovesickness of young lovers that we never associate with our parents.

Those letters were your Dad's only way to talk to your Mom during the war and even though their generation was not given to being open about their private emotions, they often poured out their hearts in those letters. Wouldn't you love to be able to read the letters your father wrote to your mother and hear his heart? You might well discover aspects of their lives and personalities that you never before realized were there.

But how many of us have ever been able to read such letters?

Okie on the Lam proprietor Dale Baker has and this week he began sharing those letters with the world via his blog. You can also click on the "Dad's WWII Letters" blogad in the right-hand column of this blog.

Dale and I are on the opposite coasts but we share Oklahoma childhoods, so many of the place names and events mentioned by his father are familiar to me. Also, both of our fathers were in the Navy and spent time in training at the Navy's Norman, Oklahoma, facility. They might even have known each other.

Regardless where you grew up or where your folks served, you will be moved by Duke Baker's endearing words for his Anna Mae. Most of the time, he is simply conveying the mundane details of daily life at a Naval hospital. Spare though his prose is, however, you hear more than a few hints of Duke's compassion for the wounded and dying men under his care, as well as his longing for his beloved, home and peace.

Thanks, Dale, for sharing these letters with the rest of us. A lot of people you will probably never meet will be wonderfully blessed by your sharing.