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Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project

Because many servicemen and women were drafted or enlisted as teenagers or very young adults, they were frequently away from home and from their families for the first time. Others might be leaving a new family of their own. Communication with parents, siblings, wives, husbands, children, and other relatives provided a vital connection with "home," a welcome distraction from life on the front lines.

Featured Story: John Walter Earle
Marion Gurfein

"Goofeins Celebrate 3rd Year of Marriage. 'Does This Last Year Count?' Queries Famous Beauty."

In the days of instant messaging and e mails, the art of thoughtful correspondence is slowly ebbing away. Then there is the art of something even more original, such as what Marion Gurfein bestowed on her husband Joe while he was serving abroad during World War II and Korea. Marion told the stories wartime wives tell their husbands in a unique format, a “newspaper” wittily titled The Goofein Journal. She cleverly cemented the bonds between husband and wife and their children, as well as making mail call the highlight of Joe Gurfein’s day.

John Walter Earle's StoryGo and experience
Marion Reh Gurfein's story
Experience more Stories of Family Ties more stories

"The joys of parents are secret, and so are their griefs and fears; they cannot utter the one, nor will they utter the other."        -- Francis Bacon

Mary Sheldon Gill

"I knew it would not be scum and went anyway."

Mary Sheldon Gill's story

Frederick Clarence Stilson

"Sherman was right, 'War is Hell,'..."

Frederick Clarence Stilson's story

Donald Patrick Finn

"'What in hell were you people doing back there anyway, to be caught that way?'"

Donald Patrick Finn's story

Malcolm Harvey Stilson

"Together we could have done lots more than we ever did singly."

Malcolm Harvey Stilson's story

Marie Brand Voltzke

"There were 'Dear Jane' as well as 'Dear John' letters."

Marie Brand Voltzke's story

Vincent Cornelius Reed

"Everywhere the people treated us with the same respect that they would have treated their own soldiers."

Vincent Cornelius Reed's story

Sidney Algernon Riches

"...Sure hate to think of leaving and facing the possibility of not coming back ..."

Sidney Algernon Riches Sr.'s story

  The Library of Congress
  February 18, 2004
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