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Do You See What I Mean?

Posted by on January 30, 2016

April 10 and 17, 1944. Anna writes two letters to her brothers and manages the addition of a short letter to Dad.  She debriefs them on the recent Easter holiday, updates them on some news from other relatives who are in the service, and takes Dad to task for mentioning his thoughts about volunteering for overseas duty.

Anna is still recovering from the recent holiday. “Easter at home wasn’t too bad but it was nothing like other years in peace time. This year in Church on Easter Day some people came in all dressed up but it wasn’t as colorful as other Easters.” As far as her own wardrobe, Anna mentions that she only has the one coat which she bought earlier in the month and that “if it wasn’t war time I would have bought more because there would be a better variety of dresses and other clothes in the store.” She also mentions that there is a 20% tax on fur and that she will wait until after the war and “get a good one.” In addition to the fur tax and clothing shortage, they “were supposed to have a blackout for Easter but we didn’t get it – they are probably waiting to spring a surprise us on a busy night.”

Other than that, “Daddy worked as usual as he does every year on Christmas and Easter but I guess he must need the money because you never get money for nothing.” Anna and Eddie took the baby to Eddie’s parents’ house for most of the day while “mama stayed home and wrote a V-Mail to Stanley in Polish.”  She notes that now that Easter is over “things have simmered down to the daily tempo again.” 

During the week between Easter and the 17th, Anna reports that the baby was a sick and had a 103 degree temperature. She is just getting back to normal. Anna is thankful and writes that “it feels so good again to hear her laugh and squeal like she used to and walk around the house…because when she was sick the house felt like a morgue and all you could feel was tension. Now that she feels better I forget about my own tiredness.”

Anna addresses a question that Stanley had asked concerning whether his letters are being censored. Anna informs him that only one letter had anything cut out of it “and that was at the beginning when you first started writing…they cut out one word. That sentence in which you wrote something about England being ____ . That word was cut out but we guessed for ourselves because it was in the papers the way the Nazis came back to bomb London and it was no military secret if it was in the papers.” She suggests that he writes only on one side of the paper in the future so “if they cut out something it wouldn’t ruin the rest of the letter.”

As of the 10th they heard from Eddie’s brother Billy Lubinski who is currently stationed at Woodward, Oklahoma which “he likes very much and he says that it is the best camp he has been in since he was in the Army. He says that the fellows he was with originally are over in England now.” By the 17th they have received a card from Billy with the news that he has been moved to Texas. Anna comments that “the way they move him around it is like a man without a country.”

In other news,

  • Their cousin Vincent “had his tonsils taken out the Army way. He also had pneumonia. It looks like he is getting all the sickness on the Army expenses.”
  • There is no word on Eddie’s deferment. Anna notes that, “So far we haven’t heard from the draft board and that don’t make me feel bad.”

In a letter written just to Dad, Anna expresses the family’s concerns about his considering volunteering for overseas service as he hinted in his last letter. “I wish you wouldn’t scare us about those ideas you have about going to volunteer for overseas. Haven’t we got enough to worry over you boys now? Do you want us to get gray hair ahead of time? Please don’t add to it. It would be different if the Army took a special interest in you and decided to ship you over and then we couldn’t do a thing about it…”

As she continues, it is clear why the letter is directed only to Dad and Stanley is not included. “Now that those damn Nazis are bombing England we are on pins and needles After all, among the American soldiers there is one in whom we are especially interested and about whom we have special worry and say special prayers. When we don’t hear from him for a week we don’t know what to think” As if that’s not enough, she piles on. “Mama has asked me to tell you that she has so many prayers now to say and if you went over she would pray double. Don’t be jealous that she prays more for Stanley because the occasion and situation demands it.”

 As she continues, she references a well-known WWII incident. “If the other guys in your camp want to go, let them. But why should you? Remember those five Sullivan brothers who were sailors on one ship? Maybe you heard it or maybe you didn’t. Well anyway, the ship was torpedoed and all five went down. Do you see what I mean? If they were on five different ships well maybe one would be lost. The same way with you. I don’t want anything to happen to Stanley and may God forbid it but if it did at least we would still have you left.”

After a few relatively trivial matters, Anna winds downs and signs off, “So Long, God Luck and God Bless You.”

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