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Vintage World War II Letter From Soldier to Wife Regarding Birth of a Son

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Newlyweds, December 1942 - Two newly married pharmacists prior to Jack's deployment during WWII

Newlyweds, December 1942 - Two newly married pharmacists prior to Jack's deployment during WWII

Letter From a Soldier To His Wife

The writing of this letter took place many years ago in 1944. The fact of this short letter being family related gives me the opportunity to fill in a few more details.

Similar communications happen today when families are separated due to deployments during times of war or even during peace time separations.

The times may have changed and perhaps fewer handwritten letters are being authored these days because of the changes in technology but the sentiments are probably universally felt when a deployed soldier learns of the birth of his son.

The setting was World War II. The author of this letter was my husband's father. He was a pharmacist and an Army Lieutenant stationed at a hospital in England.

World War II Photo Taken in England

This is the happy father!  Written on back..."This is me in my O.D.'s with blouse and service cap."  (Note:  O.D's means Olive Drabs)

This is the happy father! Written on back..."This is me in my O.D.'s with blouse and service cap." (Note: O.D's means Olive Drabs)

Vintage WWII Letter

Here is the letter in it's entirety.

"July 5, 1944


What a joyful day today. Bruce Eldon has come at last. Oh Sweetheart I'm so happy that I could shout for joy.

The telegram arrived this morning. What does he weigh? etc. How about the particulars? No doubt they are on the way but I'm sure anxious to know what the details are.

I'm so excited today I can hardly write to you. There's so much I have to say to you & yet I don't know how to say it.

Oh Darling. You are so grand. I only regret that I wasn't there to be with you.

I can never thank your father enough for caring for you and all they've done for you since you got back to Monroe.

My Dear. I am today the happiest man on earth.

Remember we have a date July 1, 1945.

Love Forever

Your Husband


P.S. You can read my letters to our son and tell him how much I love you and how sweet his mother is."

Portion of this joyfully written letter.

Portion of this joyfully written letter.

Postal Censorship During WWII

My husband's parents had met each other when both were studying to become pharmacists while at Drake University in Iowa. After graduating from college with his pharmacy degree in hand Jack was too young at age 20 to be hired. One had to be 21 years old at that time to work as a registered pharmacist.

Drafted into the service of his country during WWII and marrying his college sweetheart they spent a short amount of time on this side of the Atlantic before he was sent overseas.

During that time many letters and pictures were exchanged as well as postcards.

During WWII prior to letters being sent especially from a war zone country, there were censors who looked over the communications to make sure that if the letters or pictures fell into enemy hands no secrets of any military significance would aid in their efforts. Thus many of the pictures Jack sent to his wife had censor stamps on the back of them.

In some cases (none in our possession) certain words would be marked out of a letter making that word or words unreadable. The letter would then be sent to the recipient and the reader could perhaps understand the intent of the letter even if not every exact word that had been blacked out.

Censor Mark on Pictures During WWII

Censor mark on the back of pictures sent home from war zones.

Censor mark on the back of pictures sent home from war zones.

Hospital Births in the 1940s

Times were really different back then compared to today! In our possession is a receipt for $80.00 from Iowa Methodist Hospital to my future mother-in-law for a "10 day rate."

Imagine having your meals prepared, your bed linens changed and freshened and your baby brought to you for feedings and then being well tended while one rested up from giving birth for a total of 10 days!

Since she was a pharmacist at that same hospital perhaps she was given a discounted rate? Can you imagine a price of $80.00 for even a one day hospital stay today? That would be an unheard of bargain!

New mothers were pampered compared to the way they are treated today where a hospital stay for giving birth is almost like experiencing a revolving door.

1944 Photo of Mother and Child

Emma and her new baby boy (who would become my husband 26 years later).

Emma and her new baby boy (who would become my husband 26 years later).

Western Union Cablegrams

Back in 1944 the fastest way to deliver important messages (text messaging and emails were not yet invented) was to send a Western Union Cablegram.

We have a receipt from Iowa Methodist Hospital paid by Emma's mother to send a cablegram to Emma's soldier husband to notify him that he had become a new father.

Things were abbreviated as much as possible because each word cost money. Succinct and to the point the message relayed was this: BRUCE ARRIVED BOTH FINE.

It cost $8.86 to send this message and it actually transpired a few days after the actual birth although paid for on the exact date. It was surely not exactly instant messaging! The letter from Jack to his "Darling" wife was in response to this cablegram.

Western Union Cablegram notifying Jack that he had become a father.

Western Union Cablegram notifying Jack that he had become a father.

While Jack served his country during World War II overseas, Emma and her baby son had moved back home to live with her parents. This was a fairly common thing back then. Families pulled together and supported one another during times of separation or stress such as was caused by this world war.

Obviously having her own parents to advise in the rearing of her son would also have eased the transition into the complexities of motherhood. After all, they were already experienced at being parents!

Frequent letters and pictures and descriptions of the events surrounding the milestones in his son's life kept Jack updated and longing for the day to be able to see these things for himself and also begin to participate in his son's upbringing. Pictures such as these of healthy mother and son would have pleased him.

Soldier Returns Home To His Family

This day that probably seemed so far off finally happened. Jack returned home in early December of 1945. His son was a toddler of 16 months and was walking and talking.

Seen here with his wife and child their entire lives lay before them and the future looked rosy. But it was not to be.

Family Reunited After WWII

The happy day arrived!  Father, mother and son reunited after the war!

The happy day arrived! Father, mother and son reunited after the war!

Accident and End of Happily Ever After

With his darling wife in the car with him and his baby boy left at home with the grandparents, they were driving to get his discharge papers from the army when a malfunction in the car caused an accident to occur.

There were no seat belts back in those days and the car rolled on top of him literally crushing the promising life out of him. Emma suffered severe back injuries but survived. This was on December 3, 1945 three years later to the exact date of their marriage.

Her parents subsequently had an apartment built onto their existing home. That is where Emma and her son lived for several years prior to her being able to go back to work as a pharmacist and start leading a more independent life for her small nuclear family of two.

Dreams of a "happily ever after" with her sweetheart Jack would now have to reside in memories of their short time spent together.

Life holds no promises for anyone of us. Live and love each day as if it were our last. This Emma seemed to do with the rest of her life. She wrung the joy out of each day as it presented itself and gave her son the benefit of her optimistic outlook on life. I can still imagine seeing my mother-in-law's smile. It seldom left her face!


Perhaps some of you have special letters from World War II or others from soldiers celebrating the birth of their son or daughter? Hang onto them for posterity reasons and also to bring a smile to one's face when reading. These vintage letters are special indeed!

U.S. Postage stamps in 1944

U.S. Postage stamps in 1944


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 27, 2020:

Hi Vanita,

I can see that you are proud of your loving parents. It is lovely that their arranged marriage turned into a love match.

As to visiting Houston, there is so much to see and enjoy here. Should you ever come, let me know, and I could guide you regarding your interests.

Vanita Thakkar on August 26, 2020:

Thanks a lot, dear Peggy.

I conveyed your good wishes and blessings to them. Theirs is a classic marriage - an arranged marriage that became the most beautiful love marriage :) :)

I look forward to reading more of your articles. You make me feel tempted to visit Houston.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 26, 2020:

Hi Vanita,

Congratulations to your parents on their 51 years spent together. May they have many more happy years!

Blessings to you and them.

Vanita Thakkar on August 26, 2020:

Dear Peggy,

I wish both of you a great 50th Marriage Anniversary and many more happier ones to come !!

My parents completed 51 wonderful years of togetherness this January.

Love and regards,


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 26, 2020:

Hi Vanita,

Thanks for your comment on this real-life story. This year will mark the 50th wedding anniversary of my being married to that little toddler in the photo.

I hope all is well with you.

Vanita Thakkar on August 26, 2020:

A very touchy, sad, yet inspiring real life story.

Beautiful pictures and letters as treasured memories.

Lots of love and regards,


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 04, 2020:

Hello DLorenz56,

Sadly, my husband never got to know his father, except for stories and photos. His grandpa became his father-figure and was a good role model. Thanks for your comment.

DLorenz56 on February 03, 2020:

What a beautiful, but sad story.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 25, 2017:

Hi Roberta,

My husband and I do not have children except for our 4-legged ones. My mother-in-law used to call them her "grand-puppies." She was an inspiration to others. Thanks for your comment.

RTalloni on November 23, 2017:

It's important to document the histories of people who lived through those times. Thank you for sharing the letter and photos. The gift of your sweet mother-in-law must indeed be a precious memory. It sounds like she was a wonderful example to others.

Even in the best of times we do not always understand why life works out the way it does. This has reminded me that James 4:13-14 draws from the OT when it speaks to us about life and death.

One of the blessings of children is that we have a sense the future to help us be strong when we are tempted to give up. I am sure your husband's mother was grateful for you and what it must have meant to her to have grandchildren.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 01, 2015:

Hi Joe,

I see from your bio that are interested in stories like this. I have written quite a few stories from both sides of my family and have shared some from my husband's family also like this one that you just read. Times were certainly different back then!

Joe Fiduccia from Monroe County, PA on February 01, 2015:

It's incredible to be able to go back to someone's life in 1944 and relive that very moment. The details you provided makes it as if we are right there with them both. Great story.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 15, 2013:

Hello Schoolmom24,

Glad you liked this true story dating back to the WWII era. I am still married to their son and will soon be celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary!

Schoolmom24 from Oregon on September 12, 2013:

Wow, what an amazing story! I have always loved the WWII era, been fascinated by it. I was pulled in by this story of your future mother and father in law...the letters, telegrams and the beautiful photos. And then to be saddened by this tragic ending. I guess if there was good to be brought out, it is their love story, their son and the fact that they did get a brief reunion, which so many did not. Thank you for sharing this!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 24, 2013:

Hello Stellar Phoenix Review,

I truly appreciate your most complementary of comments. It gave me reason to go back in and do some editing making this even better. The video at the end is a fascinating look back at those times of the 1940s. Thank you!

Stellar Phoenix Review on February 22, 2013:

This content is incredible! You obviously know how to keep a reader involved. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost..hehe) Excellent job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool! Stellar Phoenix

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 18, 2013:

Hello moronkee,

The birth of that son refers to the boy who grew up and later became my husband. Obviously he never got to know his dad and his mother lived until the age of 81 and had a good life although she never remarried. Thanks for your comment. Sorry that this made you cry. It certainly was sad at the time!

Moronke Oluwatoyin on January 18, 2013:

Oh! Sister Peggy, your letter touched my heart. May the good LORD continually give you strength with your son all the days of your life.Actually I was crying when I read your hub.

Thank you for writing and sharing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on December 21, 2012:

Hi anita,

If you like reading old letters and some of the history regarding them, check out my ones from 1920 and 1921 regarding WW1 and my grandfather's war buddy. Look at the links at the bottom of this hub to find them. Thanks for your comment.

anita on December 20, 2012:

its a nice letter. Would you please write some more letters from differebt people?

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 23, 2012:

Hi vox vocis,

It was too bad that my husband had to grow up never knowing his father. They only saw each other for a total of 1 day before the accident and obviously at his young age, he has no memory of that meeting. His grandpa became his father figure. Separations were often long during World War 2. Thanks for your comment.

Jasmine on October 23, 2012:

You've got so many great hubs, Peggy, but I find this one the best (at least, so far), the story, the message, the photos - wonderful indeed! Except for one thing, though - I was really sorry to read about Jack's death. What a drastic turn of destiny.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 19, 2012:

Hello Table for Three,

First of all I would like to thank both you and your wife for your service to our country. So nice that you made it home in time for the birth of your son. We do owe a debt of gratitude and admiration for the WW2 generation and for all soldiers including those of today. Thanks for your comment.

Table for Three from Naples, Florida on October 19, 2012:

It's great reading articles like this, my wife and I are both in the service so letters like those really hit home. Thankfully I made it home for the birth of my son. The men and women of that generation were truly extraordinary and should never be forgotten!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 12, 2012:

Hello ElleBee,

Yes, it is nice when keepsakes related to momentous (and even more common) family occasions are kept and passed on to future generations. It is fun looking back at things and learning from them. Thanks for your comment.

ElleBee on September 12, 2012:

beautiful! It's lovely when memories and momentos are passed down through the generations. and I'm sure that letter from father to son became a treasured keepsake.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 24, 2012:

Hi cashmere,

Yes it was a sad day indeed when my husband's father died after he only saw him for one day. What a shock for the entire family! I do have some historical memorabilia collected and kept from both sides of my family going way back in time as well as some from my husband's side of the family. It can teach us things from the past and keep memories alive. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 24, 2012:

Hello HouseBuyersUS,

Glad to hear you found this article of interest. Appreciate your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 24, 2012:

Hi Alastar,

Nice seeing you here and thanks for the sharing of this article about that old WW2 letter from my husband's father to his mother regarding the birth of their son. Too bad he only got to see him for one day!

cashmere from India on July 24, 2012:

Beautiful Hub! Its amazing you have all these memorabilia still in the family. Sad that the soldier returned home, but still died. At least he got to see his son :)

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on July 24, 2012:

A great one to share--you have so many gems its not easy choosing!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 17, 2012:

Hello dwachira,

My mother-in-law held on tightly to her memories and love of her husband. His framed photo was always showcased in her home and she never remarried. She went on to make the best of life and my lovely husband shares her enthusiasm for living life to the fullest. Thanks for your comments and votes.

Danson Wachira from Nairobi, Kenya on July 16, 2012:

Great article, love can do wonders i believe. Voted and and interesting.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 27, 2012:

Hello Hady Chahine,

The words in the WW2 letter were certainly heartfelt. Thanks for your comment on this hub concerning the past but which affects families in similar ways even today.

Of course modern communications have become speeded up and improved since those days with the exception of hand-written letters. Those will always be superior to emails and texts, in my opinion. Something about being able to hold those pieces of paper that were labored over with love that has greater meaning.

Hady Chahine from Manhattan Beach on April 27, 2012:

Thanks, I really enjoyed your hub. Definitely heartfelt.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 21, 2012:

Hello Levertes Steele,

That certainly was a tough way to experience marriage. She was actually separated from her husband for most of it due to the war and the memories of their shared times sustained her for the rest of her life as she never remarried. My husband (her only child) got all of her attention and she was quite a spunky gal who went on to lead an exemplary type of life. Thanks for your comment.

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on April 20, 2012:

What a beautiful sad story! Emma was strong because I believe that "Only the strong survives. "She was so young but swallowed a bitter pill.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 08, 2012:

Hello Turkic,

Nice to know that you found this World War 2 letter interesting. Thanks for your comment.

Turkic on January 08, 2012:

That was so interesting!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 23, 2011:

Hello deepak,

Thank you for your comment. We must never forget our soldiers and their families.

deepak on November 23, 2011:

such a miserable day mite..your soule goes to rest and peace who lost their life in war..least we forget them,.....

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 05, 2011:

Hi JamaGenee,

I understand your reasons completely. It sounds as though you are uncovering enough good genealogical information on your own to keep you busy.

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on November 05, 2011:

Peggy, I'm just not an tea and cookies socializer any more. Had enough of that on the "rubber chicken circuit" when I was in politics. The one incentive to join would be access to their genealogical files and other resources not available to non-members, and it'd be as a Member At Large, so whether there is or isn't a chapter in my area isn't an issue. ;D

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 05, 2011:

Hi JamaGenee,

You would probably meet some interesting people affiliated with the D.A.R. Do you just not have the time or is there not one in your area? For people reading this who may not know...DAR stands for Daughters of the American Revolution. Hey! That would make for a great hub Jama! You would do it justice with all of your knowledge.

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on November 05, 2011:

Oh, it is and I am! More research reveals that what appears to be the earliest immigrant ancestor in that line arrived from Scotland several decades before the Revolutionary War and his son, my ancestor, served from Kent County, MD. Another addition to the list of qualifiers for D.A.R. membership IF I had any desire to join that organization, which I don't. lol! ;D

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 04, 2011:

Hi JamaGenee,

It must be fun to be contacted after that length of time from one of your genealogy postings. Have fun!

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on November 04, 2011:

Your comments remind me that I need to get in touch with a WWII war museum in Norfolk, England, that houses (among many other things) files and memorabilia on the American air force squadrons that were stationed in the area in 1942 and '43. I'm hoping they can identify the location of what is supposedly a manor house behind a 5th cousin and his buddies in a photo taken on a much-needed break from bombing Germany. By the time his wife and I asked him about it 60 years after the fact, all he could remember was they'd been told it was owned by a "cider baron" and was somewhere in Devonshire. (Never mind Cousin was a Navigator... lol!) Personally, after watching many episodes of "Inspector Morse" and "Inspector Lewis", I suspect the "manor house" was actually a building at one of the colleges at Oxford.

Enuff of that! I would've responded earlier, but yesterday got a hit on a post I left on a genealogy board TWO years ago! So don't despair that the leads you put out there about your own ancestors go unnoticed. Sometimes it just takes awhile for the right person to find them. ;D

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 03, 2011:

Hi JamaGenee,

My grandfather and his 50th aero squadron were Americans who simply did some training at the Harlaxton Aerodrome in England for a time before going off to fight in France. His unit found the "lost battalion" among other things. I am providing a PhD at Harlaxton College some of this information. Finally received a physical address and if all else fails, will mail him the copies of information he requested. He is happy to be able to add information about Americans in the war effort adding to information he is teaching his students about WW1 and what he already knows.

All of this came about because of finding one of my hubs! :))

Apparently others at the college are having some glitches with receiving emails since some work was done on their computers...supposedly updating their system. So much for that latest update! Ha!

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on November 02, 2011:

Peggy, after (15?) years I'm still trying to get my head around how and why the internet works at all! Much like an ex-boss who was fascinated by fax machines. lol!

That said, when I wrote the hubs and blog posts about my ancestors I mainly did it to make the information accessible to my kids and other relatives. The surnames Savage and Sowerby are quite common, so it was quite a surprise to be contacted by "new" cousins! The key, I think, was including specific information that only another descendant would use as search terms.

btw, if your paternal gf was in England in WWI, have you contacted the the UK's Imperial War Museum to see what information it might have about him or his unit? Just a thought.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 02, 2011:

Hi JamaGenee,

The Internet certainly makes it easier for people to find one another and communicate with regard to records of all types. Nice that you are finding more of your relatives through your hubs and blogs. Maybe someday that will also happen to me. So far I have only been contacted by strangers who wish more information about subjects I have authored. One such gentleman is receiving more information about the 50th aero squadron during WW1 in which my paternal grandfather had a role while in England. Strange thing...some of my emails with downloads are received and others bounce back. Will have to try sending more today. Keeping track so that I know what is received and what is not. The Internet is great sometimes and at times seems very obstinate as to how it works. Crazy!

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on November 01, 2011:

Oops. I should know by now your *mother* would not throw out old letters and such!

Glad to hear those letters from your gf's war buddy are now in the Frisco TX HistSoc museum where not only other relatives can read them, but also those researching that period.

I've been contacted by several "new" distant cousins I wouldn't have found otherwise who read my English Rose hub or one of several blog posts about that branch of the family. I also found an old letter in a stack from relatives in England that I determined wasn't about anyone in our family. Thanks to the internet I was able to track down a descendant who was thrilled to not only have the letter itself but the family information contained in it. ;D

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 31, 2011:

Hi JamaGenee,

It was my mother-in-law who tossed out all that information...not my mother. Fortunately years ago my mother and I sat down and working together put together several 100 page photo albums and labeled all the relative's names. I am so thankful that we did it together. It was a fun project and naturally I heard many family stories as we were working on that project which took some time.

We will never know what my mother-in-law tossed and for a time I was really upset about it. Of course nothing could be done about it.

That is good information that you gave at the end of your comment regarding donating items to genealogical or historical society or museums. I recently did that with some letters written after WW1 from a war buddy of my paternal grandfather's. Someone actually read the hub I had written, contacted me...and the end result is that those letters are now in a historical society museum in Frisco, Texas.

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on October 31, 2011:

Peggy, I used to nag my mother for keeping practically every letter she ever received from not only relatives but "birthday twins" in almost every state in the union. Also the obituaries of family, friends and neighbors. Am I ever thankful she didn't didn't heed my advice to "toss 'em"! I still find interesting tidbits going through them almost 30 years after her death. For that reason it pains me no end when I think of the treasures that were lost forever when your mother tossed that suitcase in her garage. Oh my....

The same can be said of old photos, of course. Besides the letters and newspaper clippings, my mother left hundreds of snapshots and old family photos, many of whom I wouldn't identify until decades later. Makes me want to cry when I hear of a deceased's family throwing away boxes of old pix simply because they had no idea who they were of (or when or where they were taken) and thought it a waste of time to try to find out. My kids know I'll come back and haunt them if they do that after I'm gone.

If family members have NO interest in keeping such items - letters, clippings, photos - every town of any size has a genealogical or historical society or museum that will be thrilled to have them, and will even come to the deceased's home to pick them up!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 30, 2011:

Hi JamaGenee,

It sounds as though you have a treasure trove of wonderful letters and journals connecting you with the past. Most people do not have access to things like that as so often letters and journals were not kept and passed down from generation to generation. When my mother-in-law was moving from her home in San Antonio to come and live in Houston (near us) in a senior citizen independent living place, she obviously had to downsize. I was helping her with that and I noticed a suitcase packed with letters and documents from her mother's side of the family kept in her garage. At the time I did not get to look at it and we had just started tackling the garage cleaning out process. Sadly when I was back in Houston, she decided to throw all of that out in the garbage. I would have loved to have been able to read and learn from it, but it was too late. She obviously did not think that there would be any interest in it when she did that. Such a shame!

I should have kept more of the letters written to me though the years!

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on October 30, 2011:

Peggy, your mother-in-law was blessed with unimaginable fortitude which, as you said, came from being surrounded by love. Many "war brides" weren't so lucky.

Yes, it's hard to believe now in the days of "drive-through deliveries", but in the 1940s it was common for women to remain in the hospital for 10 days after giving birth. Same for that $80 hospital bill which would barely cover the cost of a few hospital-issued Band-Aids today!

I only have one WWII letter from a second cousin, but DO have a treasure trove of letters from a great-grandmother as well as several letters from my mother's cousins in England. Also Xerox copies of two letters written in the 1830s by a however-many-ggm in frontier PA, as well as transcripts of dozens of letters to and from cousins in another branch that a descendant found in the attic of the home passed down through several generations. One is from a ggm that verifies her marriage date that I couldn't otherwise verify because the West VA courthouse where it was recorded was torched during the Civil War.

And although it's not a letter per se, one 7th great-uncle was a Rev War hero of such renown that his journals have been published on the internet. What a pleasure it was one Friday evening to read his accounts of settling an uninhabited area of SW Pennsylvania in his own words! I felt as if 220+ years fell away and I was right there with him in that log cabin in the mountains! ;D

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 30, 2011:

Hello Just History,

This was certainly not a long lasting happy reunion after coming home from the war. Jack saw his son and wife for exactly one day before he was killed in that accident. But his memory survives and has been held dear by his family members in all the years since his short life ended.

There is no way to predict the ending of a life and that is why we should live each day as if it were our last. Concentrate on the big picture and put aside all the minor distractions as much as possible. Thanks for your comment.

Just History from England on October 30, 2011:

All that danger and then wiped out by a car crash- so sad. War was tough but you didnt expect to die in the peace when so young and fit

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 12, 2011:

Hello thelyricwriter,

Glad you liked this story related to a letter written during WW2. So your grandpa was in the war. What theatre of operation? Europe? Japan? Thanks for leaving your comment.

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on October 12, 2011:

What a great story there Peggy. Votes up. I grandpa was in WWII. This was a great read and I do thank you. Take care.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 13, 2011:

Hello Virginia Allain,

Agreed. Letters such as this one written during World War 2 from a soldier to his wife on the birth of their son gives a peek into the past. Your site on preserving such letters is a good one! Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 13, 2011:

Hello jseven,

Yes...as you say...life is not always fair. We must make the best of it while we have it. Thanks for your comment regarding this World War 2 letter.

Virginia Allain on August 11, 2011:

I was fascinated by the background you provided for this letter. Such family memories are worth preserving.

Joey from Michigan on August 11, 2011:

What a touching and tragic story! You tell it well and the pics are great. Life is not fair for sure and we have to appreciate what we have while we have it.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 06, 2011:

Hello Dim Flaxenwick,

I have written quite a few hubs about my side of the family. I thought it was time to write some about my husband's side of the family. My husband grew up with the picture of his father and the framed condolence letter from President Harry Truman hanging in his mother's home. That and stories of his father are all he had as he was too young to remember the memory of that one day actually meeting his father face to face. Thanks for your comment.

Dim Flaxenwick from Great Britain on August 06, 2011:

Oh how sad, that car crash must have been after all the waiting during the war. Ghastly.! You wrote the story so well. I take my hat off to you.

Thanks for sharing

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 31, 2011:

Hi 2patricias,

That is a coincidence. Nice that Pat's father-in-law lived a long life and that his son is Pat's husband. Thanks for reading this story about that WW2 letter regarding the birth of who was to become my husband.

2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on July 31, 2011:

The story is very sweet but sad.

By a strange coincidence Pat's father-in-law was also a pharmacist who served in WW2 - but in the British forces. He survived and lived a long life , mostly running his own shop - but with 4 children, one of them Pat's Wonderful Husband.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 24, 2011:

Hi Cheryl,

Thanks for your comment on this World War 2 letter which certainly touches close to home as you know. As to Walter Reed hospital...that has certainly been an institution of note for many years regarding caring for our war wounded and others.

Cheryl J. from Houston, TX on July 23, 2011:

A wonderful and inspiring hub page. I love the photos and the letter. I was saddened with the tragic loss of Mr. Woods. Your hub has touched my heart. It's amazing how love travels to great distances. I was saddened today with the news of Walter Reed hospital closing. A great landmark that has cared for our war wounded for many years. Your hub is awesome, Peggy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 23, 2011:

Hi Kathy (Lucky Cats),

Yes this is sad but Emma and her son went on to live good lives. They lived with her parents until she could once again work after recovering from her injuries.

Emma is now gone and hopefully she and Jack are once again enjoying each other's company. Her son and I are happily married so this story (from those earlier days) continues. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

Kathy from The beautiful Napa Valley, California on July 22, 2011:

Oh, my goodness, Peggy! I'm so sad for this...even so many years later...what a shame!! such beautiful people; longing and loving from a distance. A beautiful child who, just for a fleeting moment in time, was able to be with his father...and poor Emma...what a tragedy to have struck. Such beautiful photos; and the history of your family. These are treasures to hold onto for a lifetime.

I cannot even fathom an $80.00 bill for a TEN day hospital stay...amazing.

I'm so glad that Emma was able to live with her parents; that kind of support is priceless.

You have in your possession valued pieces of ephemera to help recall this fateful story.

What a thoughtful and reminescent hub, Peggy. Beautiful, yet bittersweet, memories.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 20, 2011:

Hi Gordon Hamilton,

It was a sad time for his family including my future husband and mother-in-law. She of course suffered more than my husband because of his youth at the time his father was killed. This World War 2 letter was treasured by her for all the years of her life. Thanks for the visit and comment.

Gordon Hamilton from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on July 20, 2011:


Your Hub is so beautifully written and presented, it is such a shame that it represents a tragedy of this type. When I started reading, I thought that your husband's father was going to end up being killed in the War, perhaps in the Normandy landings, soon after having written and sent the letter. While that would of course have been incredibly tragic, to have survived the war and yet to have died in such a nondescript way in a sense makes it even more...inexplicable and tragic.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 20, 2011:

Hi Sally's Trove,

If you have bundles of World War 2 letters and photos, perhaps you had better get busy cataloging and preserving them for future generations. :)) Am certain that they mean a lot to you as they did to your parents back then. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 20, 2011:

Hi Hello, hello,

It was truly sad for all concerned, but that's life. No blueprints or roadmaps for any of us and overall that is probably best. We just need to make the best of each and every day granted to us while here. Thanks for your comment.

Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on July 20, 2011:

Peg, you are such an inspiration. I have bundles of letters written between my mother and father during WWII, and many photos, but have done nothing to preserve or catalog them.

This is another mesmerizing and unforgettable addition to your collection of family stories.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on July 20, 2011:

A very sad destiny. Coming through the war and this had to happened. Thank you for sharing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 16, 2011:

Hello tylerkendall124,

Thanks for leaving a comment about this World War 2 letter from a soldier to wife regarding the birth of their son who would in later years become my husband. The book that you referenced sounds very interesting. Thanks!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 16, 2011:

Hi again Happyboomernurse,

I saw information about the best hubbie awards somewhere but looked in Facebook and the Forums now to try and find the link and couldn't find it. Do you have the link for voting? I have a couple of your hubs in mind to fit some of the categories.

tylerkendall124 on July 16, 2011:

Letters from the war are some of my favorite pieces of history. I just finished a book called Letters Home, which is a collection of letters from an American woman home to her family. She lived and worked in post World War II Japan, as one of the only women on the team that went through all of the Bank of Japan's assets. Great read! http://lettershomethebook.com

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on July 15, 2011:

The accolade is well deserved.

I haven't read your latest hub yet, but certainly will and I thank you for adding a link to my own hub. Yes, our veterans are under so much stress and I worry about them having difficulty adjusting when they come home.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 15, 2011:

Hello Happyboomernurse,

Thanks for the accolade. Appreciate it. I added a link about your hub regarding veterans experiencing so many more suicides to my latest hub about tours of duty and Clare Luce. Thought that it added even more information as to what our returning veterans are experiencing in this day and age, sad to say.

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on July 15, 2011:

Am nominating this for the "Best All Around Hub" Hubbie Award. It touched my heart so much, the photos were beautiful, it was a great historical piece and the theme is universal. Thanks so much for sharing it on Hub Pages.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 12, 2011:

You are most welcome Simone. Glad that you liked this look back in time. I also thought that the letter was really sweet. Thanks for your comment.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on July 12, 2011:

Aaaah, I have goosebumps! That letter is so sweet. This Hub is fantastic, Peggy W. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 11, 2011:

Hi Billy,

Unless one has a family member or soldier friend that has been wounded or has died, it is all too easy to forget. My youngest brother was a disabled veteran so this particularly resonates with me.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 11, 2011:

Hello seanorjohn,

Nice to hear that you enjoyed this story about this letter written during world war 2 from a soldier to his wife upon the birth of his son (my husband). As to publishing...it's already published on HubPages! :)

billyaustindillon on July 11, 2011:

Peggy yes we do tend to forget those left behind to struggle and particularly so early in life. Makes me think also how we forget our wounded veterans and families - wounded in both body, mind and soul. We tend to forget way to easily.

seanorjohn on July 11, 2011:

A great tribute and well written piece of family history.You should explore this more and think about publishing. Voted up.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 10, 2011:

Hi dahoglund,

No matter which branch of the service in which our men and women serve, they are all to be honored. I also had one brother in the Navy and the other one in the Army. My Dad was a paratrooper in WWII and both of my grandparents also served...one in WWI overseas with those first early airplanes; the other in the National Guard right here at home. Nice to know more of your family history with regard to helping defend our nation.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on July 10, 2011:

As to your question about soldiers in WWII.We had more sailors than soldiers. I think I had a cousin I knew who was in WWII and Korea. His brother was in the Navy, my brother was in the Navy as were two brothers-in-law.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 10, 2011:

Hello A C Witschorik,

We do not have children but will hopefully keep these special pictures and letters and therefore memories within the extended family. Like you said, letters like this are really special. Somehow emails will never have the same impact as holding and reading (and re-reading) a handwritten letter from the past. It is becoming a lost art. Thanks for your comment!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 10, 2011:

Hi Nell,

All of our photos and memorabilia from World War 2 have already pretty much been sorted and assembled into photo album / scrapbooks. But lately we have been going through our slides and have just put in an order to have about 150 of them put onto a DVD. Will see how they turn out and then possibly do more. Our slide projector finally died a few years ago so it will be fun to see these old slides projected onto a computer screen or TV and become more user friendly once again. Possibly more hub material! Ha!

Good luck with your project! It certainly does take one back in time!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 10, 2011:

Hi Billy,

Yes...the sacrifices of all of our men and women in our country's uniforms are many and they should all be honored and remembered. The separations are not easy for them or their families! My mother-in-law had a long road ahead to recovery in body and also (no doubt) in spirit. She was lucky with respect to being surrounded and supported by her loving family in her (and her son's) time of need.

A C Witschorik on July 09, 2011:

Great Hub - I think your right, even though letters like that are far and few between because of todays technology I believe the feelings of our deployed military are probably the same. Save that letter for your children and their children. It is truely a family treasure

Nell Rose from England on July 09, 2011:

Hi, what a wonderful letter, but such a tragic ending, it seems that we are all doing it at the moment, I am going through loads of pictures and letters from the second world war, trying to tie in who was who, fascinating to do, and I don't know about you, but time seems to stop when you are surrounded by these old memories and stories, its a strange feeling, great hub, really interesting, cheers nell

billyaustindillon on July 09, 2011:

Peggy a delightful story on one hand but so sad on the other. Brought me back to some of the stories of some of my own relatives who died so young in war. A great memorial that died for us - lest we forget.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 09, 2011:

Hello Earth Angel,

It sounds as though you are involved in a fascinating collaboration with this family historian. In editing his memoirs you are becoming very educated about those days of world war 2. Hopefully you'll be able to share some tidbits with us while still respecting his work. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 09, 2011:

Hello livelonger,

With the Internet, emails, tweets, Facebook, etc., it would be hard for any government (as recently proven) to control the flow of information as they used to be able to do. Now, during war, we just have to rely upon people's good sense and loyalty. That is also hard because there is always someone out there willing to bend the curve of common sense.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 09, 2011:

Hello Seeker7,

For certain this is a window into the past touching on several subjects during the World War 2 era in addition to that letter. Thanks for your comment.

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