In addition to a collection of lunch box notes and hand made greeting cards from my sweetheart, I am fortunate to also have a file of letters from the time I served as an Army Aviator in South East Asia. These may not be lunchbox notes, but they are very special to me, especially the ones from my mother. I was single until after my tour of duty in a combat zone. I did, however, leave a girl back home. The photo below is of me and my aircraft on a little dirt runway in Xuan Loc, Republic of South Vietnam, c. 1965
I recently found a note my mother wrote to my girlfriend just a few days after I left for Vietnam. A mother’s love is forever, and reading this after so many years caused me to feel my angel mother’s arms around me all over again. Here is the note . . . .
Dear —-, For some reason Glen left this note when he left – knowing, I am sure, that I would send it to you. (I do not remember what was in that note Mom mentioned) My heart is breaking over his leaving and for all who love him. It will seem an eternity until he returns. I never thought he would be sent so far away.
As a mother who naturally wants to see her child happy if at all possible, I want to thank you for what you have ment to him, especially this month of leave at home. You are the kind of girl a mother would hope her son would love.
I know you both are young, and many changes in feelings may take place in a years time. If yours should change, I hope you might wait until Glen is home again to tell him. I can’t bear the thought of him so far away and hurt. If I sould foolish, please forgive me as I feel like I am losing my mind this morning.
May all our prayers surround Glen in these coming months and keep him safe. I am finding comfort in the 91st Psalm – you might find peace there also.
God Bless you, —-, and what ever the future brings we must know that it is the Lord’s will.
Sincerely, Corenne _____
My mother was a gifted artist. It was reported to me that after I left the country, Mom spent hours on the sofa watching the TV and nervously munching on ice cubes. She never picked up a paint brush again. This fact hurts my heart very much. Our family is fortunate to have several of Mom’s paintings. Here is one that I am blessed to have on our wall. I cannot tell you how precious these paintings, letters in her own hand, and photos, letters and other personal items from my father are to me.
Corenne’s grand daughter, my daughter, was just reunited with her Navy Chaplain husband after a deployment in Kuwait on a particularly difficult assignment. The girlfriend in this poignant letter turned out to be my daughter’s mother. Even though I am no longer with the mother of my children, I know that these kinds of things still have special meaning to all involved.
I am so happy that they are back together, AGAIN, after his 4th deployment. It is very difficult on their family, but my daughter is a former Field Combat Medic so she knows the drill! They will be here on “The Farm” for a visit in just a few weeks. My wife and I are looking forward to that rare time with a real American family . . . . our family!!
NOTE: Originally published in 2009