March 1944

March 9, 1944 – BASIC TRAING.  I arrived at Farragut, Idaho for basic training on March 9, 1944.  All through her life I have been very good about staying in touch with my mother, sending her money for her support, and returning to her a measure of the abundant love she always showed to me.  Mother had a quartet of boys and one girl right in the middle of choir.  I was her baby boy.  Her last son. Her number 5 child. My going to war broke her heart and made her proud all at the same time.  My sense of what was important prodded me to write her once a week the entire time I was away at war.  Most of those letters have survived these many years since they were written.  Here is the first letter, post card actually, that I wrote to her upon my arrival at forrested Farragut Idaho for basic training.

Post Card Home from Farragut Idaho, March 1944

I was assigned to the 58th Company, Regiment 1, Battalion 2.  There were about 130 of us in that group, all scared, all coming from mostly small rural addresses, each of us dressed up in our Navy blues with our corny Navy bonnets, clothes that most of us would never wear again in our lives except for this photo.  I’ve often wondered how many of these guys even made it home from the conflict.

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