On Wednesday, March 28, 1951, my father wrote the following letter from Yeongdeungpo, Korea:
I write to say hello and to tell all of you that I am fine, hope that you are too.
Today I received letters from all of you plus one from Albert Haigh – am planning to reply to him tonight.
I guess that mother’s chaperoning at Aθπ is probably over now since vacation time must be over by now. I got a big kick out of Angie telling me that a certain individual was caught speeding in that big Town of Moravia and if that’s not bad enough this “20 year driver” did not even have his license. Even I did not forget my license when I got caught in Moravia. You must be careful you know.
I wrote my first PIO story for the 51 as you know and it has been sent out. If it gets in Stars and Stripes I will send you the clippings since you will probably enjoy the big snow job.
I guess that Earl’s chickens are coming along real fine by now and that the 1500 new ones should be arriving about the time this letter does. With that he will have 2500, 4% loss should give him about 2400 good ones. What types of poultry is he raising, layers or broilers? The way I understand it upstate New York is not too advantageous for the broiler type and that layers are the thing so I suppose you will be getting some of Earl’s fresh eggs before long. The way to plan it is to have your big laying season in the spring (April) when the price is high. Or is it late fall? I’m not so sharp on my principles of poultry marketing anymore but there should be a book on it someplace in my room.
I have not received any of those bulletins — the ones for me and the ones for Shanks — I guess that they will probably come through sometime soon though.
My latest accomplishment was the “mastering” of the game of chess — very interesting — much more so than checkers. If I have to stay over here another 5 or 6 months I should be an expert by the time I hit 212.
Give my best to Angie, Earl, Grace, Gil, Angie Rae, Rex and Two-bits.
Love to all.
x x Paulie x x
Letters like these were very important in my family and I have a small collection of the ones my father wrote while serving in Korea. They kept my grandparents from worrying too much about the battles that were raging on the other side of the world and perhaps allowed them to sleep a little more peacefully while they waited for him to return safely home.
Earlier today our President defended his decision to exchange five Taliban fighters in order to obtain the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Speaking in Brussels, the President explained “I think it was important for people to understand that this is not some abstraction. This is not some political football. You have a couple of parents whose kid volunteered to fight in a distant land, who they hadn’t seen in five years, and weren’t sure whether they’d ever see again. And as Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces, I am responsible for those kids.”
Re-reading my father’s letter, I am proud that all our Presidents, from Washington to Lincoln to Bush and to Obama, have held steadfast to the bedrock principle that our Country does not leave its soldiers behind on the battlefield.
My grandparents surely felt the same way too.