The letter below was penned by my grand-uncle Walter (1899-1978) to his parents (my great-grandparents). He had just turned 19, and was serving in the US Army Signal Corps. In WWI that meant he was stationed at the German Front, providing reconnaissance from balloons and wiring reports via telegraph. Very dangerous place to be.
21 August 1918 – France
Dearest Mom and Dad,
Was under fire for the first time recently. No casualties. Believe me you never heard such an unearthly noise. Everything quiet then all of a sudden “Boom” s-h-h-h sh-sh-sh. The boom is when the shell bursts and the “sh” sounds like the wind whistling through a crack. The “sh” is caused by flying splinters. The damned Deutsch can’t hit a barn so we should worry. We have dugouts.
Sorry I can’t tell more. This may be cut out. I don’t think it will though because there is no information. I guess the Deutsch remember shooting at us. So this letter wouldn’t give them any “info”.
You say that you will meet me when I get off the returning transport. I think the day when I arrive will be about 10 years hence, at the present rate. However, though, the unexpected might happen and I might get home inside of 9 years instead of ten. So you get my impression from the above paragraph. However though, I am absolutely not homesick.
Of course I would like to get home, which is only natural. But I don’t want to get home ’till the “Guerre” is finished and finished to a frizzle and finished in our favor, and the damned deutsch exterminated.
We are now sleeping on the ground and in pup tents. Great sport, too. Just like a big camp.
Well, I guess we will call things off for the present. So, “Au revoire cher Pere et Mere.” I will see you “Apres La Guerre.”
Unfortunately, The Armistice lasted barely twenty years, allowed the creation of the WehrMacht, and WWII ensued. The Korean “Conflict” was stalled the same way, and now North Korea is a dangerous rogue nation. Do I need to mention Iran? Fini La Guerre.
God Bless all Veterans who fight selflessly for what’s right.
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