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Archive for the ‘From Dewain’ Category

Luxembourg,
21, February, 1945

Hey Darlings,

How are you tonight?  I’m early, you know, but I have a big day tomorrow and I’ve had a pretty good sized one today so I’m going to try to get to bed early.  It seems weeks since I got to bed before midnight.  My paperwork takes more time than it should.

I received no letters today, only a printed from the Fourth Ward enclosing a servicmans budget card and some interesting news.  I did so want a letter from my honey.  I love you, you know.

So many things have come up that almost forty-five minutes have passed since this letter began.

My darling, I’m so thankful and proud that I have the most precious wife in the world.  Did I ever tell you how beautiful you are.

You’re lovely, you will never change.  If only I could see you now.  What a feast my eyes would have.  How glad I am to you I took my vow to love, to cherish, to give you happiness.  Please always know, my darling, of wives you are the best.

Honey, knock me a kiss.  I’ll say goodnight, sweetheart.  Never forget how terribly much I love you.  You’ll always be my whole life.  Take care of yourself and Rick.  God bless and protect you each minute of each day.

Your loving old man, Dewain

I’ve been sick since Friday, so this little burst of sweetness from Grandpa was such a delightful comfort.  It was short – and I finished typing it before my mint tea cooled enough to drink.  I’m off to add honey to my tea.  I am so grateful for the great love my grandparents shared.  Around these parts it’s such a burst of sunshine on a cloudy day.

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Luxembourg,
20, February, 1945

Adorable ones,

I love you, with all my heart I do.  And if you want to send that package with the label ‘ feed every three hours and rock in-between times,’ why, go right ahead.  I’ve got a couple of boys here in my headquarters section who I’d assign to look after him and I’m sure he’d be even more spoiled than he’s getting right now.

I received your letter written on the sixth of February today.  I can’t get over the consistent fast service.  I’d better beat on my head because the  next ones will probably take a month or six weeks to get here.  Anyhow, it’s swell while it lasts.

I did get the letters off to two of our sisters tonight before I received a call to take care of some unpleasant business.  If it hadn’t been for that, I’d have finished all four because I had time scheduled for it.

What’s this story about slipping water in on him in place of milk.  Let’s watch that.  After all, he’s kinda small to defend himself and doesn’t have his old man there to stand up for him and insist on milk.  Remember that Silvesters are born sleepy and hungry and both must be taken care of.

He better be enjoying his baths too, because I don’t.  Not that I wouldn’t if I had a chance, but anyhow, I’m not enjoying them now.

So Iven’s in Belgium?  Well, what do you know.  Everyone gets to Belgium when I leave.  What a life.  I guess I’m destined not to run into anyone I know.  Though I probably wouldn’t know Iven if I did run into him.

Hey, George, have you seen the fox lately?  Which way did he go?  What’s news?

Oh, incidentally, speaking of news, I received also today a Parker home newsletter.  It’s probably quite an item.  I hope sometime I have time to drop Uncle George a note.

My eyelids are about ready to drop.  I pride myself in being the last one to bed each night and the first one up each morning of this bunch of mine.  I seldom write to you until everyone is gone to bed except the guard and I’m usually washed and shaved before anyone else gets up in the morning.  Listen to him brag.  Really I have my selfish reasons.  In the first place I can’t concentrate to write to you until they’re all retired and in order to avoid the rush, I wash and shave early.

Say, what a gaffer I am.
One would naturally think that I’d got on a tram;
so I’ll quit this right now,
even forfeit my bow;
and get me some sleep while I can.

It gets worse each day.  I’m sorry. I love you anyway.

Yours, Dewain

I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back into the swing of things.  I’ve just kind of let these letters slide over the last couple of weeks.  But it feels so good to be back.  I feel so blessed for the connections that have been made, from people who knew Grandpa during the war, or the family history stories that I’ve received through these records.  And I know these experiences are a real part of Grandma and Grandpa’s lives – even though they didn’t talk about it much, and we didn’t know enough to ask more about it.

I’m sitting here, in my home on a rainy Tuesday morning . . . and can only imagine what life for either of them may have been like 64 years ago.  Nothing like my life, that’s for sure.  I’m glad they had friends and family supporting them through all of this.  One lesson I’m learning right now is that success comes from doing what’s asked when necessary, no matter how hard, or how weird, or how inexplicable the request may be, no matter how much it’s not something that we want to do right now . . . if we all only ever did what we wanted, we’d be like a world full of two-year olds . . . and that would be insane.

I am grateful for my family who have gone on before and for the lives they lived so that I am free to live my life.  I hope I can live to make them proud of me an my family.

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Luxembourg
3, February, 1945

Perfect little family,

Do you know there is a great big awkward guy over here who is indeed crazy about you?  Perhaps crazy in other ways too, but anyhow, I love you with all my heart.

How are you tonight?  Both of you, I mean.  I missed writing last night and the letter night before last wasn’t much of a letter.  Can you forgive me?

I just finished answering the letter I received from Dee about ten days ago.  I surely hope I get a chance to look him up.  It would surely make him feel good and it wouldn’t do me any harm.  If the occasion arises, I shall certainly grab it.

I received a couple of V-mail letters from you yesterday, dated the eleventh and thirteenth of January respectively.  They were swell.  Darling, you’re so heavenly and thoughtful.  How the Lord ever saw fit to bless me so abundantly, I shall never know.  I’m so proud of my beautiful wife and baby boy.

In one letter, you say he’s a perfect angel and in the next you say I should hear him now.  How I’d like to.  I doubt if I’d ever let him cry either without picking him up.  Be careful though.  He’ll soon be as bad as his old man.

I’m so glad he looks like the baby you wanted, though I’m sure no matter how he looked, even if as bad as me, you’d say the same.  I’m glad too that he enjoys eating and sleeping.  Caution him each day to take advantage of it.

In none of your letters so far have you mentioned knowing that I was over hear.  You should have heard, at least I hope so.  Never worry though.  I’m in good hands and the weather is really breaking up into spring, if only it lasts.

Here’s that kiss you asked me to knock you and, Honey, knock me one in return.  I love you so dearly, my sweetheart, more than words could ever express.  If only my gift of gab included serious expressive words to tell you I love you, I adore you, I worship everything about you.  You’re so fine, so pretty, so heavenly, so thoughtful.  I can never thank you enough for accepting me to be your husband.  When peace returns, I’ll try so hard to keep you happy and comfortable and make a home you will be proud of.  My love for you grows each day, if only my expression could show it.

Goodnight, my darling, sleep tonight.  Who knows, the Russians may be in Berlin by morning and the end of this phase of the war near.  At any rate, time will pass briskly and I shall be home bothering you again before you know it.

Your homesick old man, Dewain

Finally, Grandpa knows that he’s a dad.  I don’t know if anybody still has those in between letters.    My next Dewain-letter is dated 2/20 and we get to start our Zola-letters with a 2/18 letter.  I’m not going to try to match up the letters as received and answered – but I will post them by date.  So Grandma’s next!!!!  I can’t wait to hear her side.

Thanks for being patient in my getting these letters posted.  I hope to share some family history about some of our Rudd ancestors soon.  I received an email from a gentleman who’s been doing research on the Rudd family line, and he gave me quite a bit of information.  Grandma would be pleased, because I always think of her as the family historian.

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From 1st Lt. Dewain Silvester 0-1050923
BtrY.C. 778AAA AwBn(sP)
A.P.O. 403 c/o Postmaster
New York, New York

To: Mrs. Dewain Silvester
Box 11,
Parker, Idaho
U.S.A.

In France, 6, January, 1945

Precious little family?

Observe that there is still a question mark.  I hope and pray that you are well and happy.  You know how very  much I love you.  You’re such a wonderfully perfect wife.  I’m so proud.

I just took time out to listen to a German propaganda program in English.  They paint is just as well for their people as we do for ours.  Perhaps soon the truth can be known.  Most of the stations we can get are of German origin.  the Allied Expeditionary Forces program from the British Broadcasting Company is our old stand by with delightful music and news from home.

Forgive me, please, for getting off on such a subject.  More better I should tell you that the chow over here is excellent.  I’ve got to hand it to the supply boys.  We have certainly been taken care of.  The only thing we lack for happiness, outside of being home in peace, of course, is mail.  Now, don’t worry.  It’ll get here.  Soon.  I hope mine to you are spaced well enough to keep you from worrying.  I’ll say Goodnight, now.  There was a busy day behind and another ahead.  I love you with all my heart, my darling.

Dewain

Grandpa’s first letter of the new year, and he’s still wondering about his new baby, who’s two weeks old now.  It’s nice to hear he’s eating well, considering what he’s in the middle of doing (in the middle of things in the middle of winter doesn’t sound like anybody’s idea of a good time).

Our next letter from Grandpa comes in February, and then we start having Grandma’s letters back too.  I can’t wait to hear her side of the story.

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From 1st Lt. Dewain Silvester 0-1050923
BtrY.C. 778AAA AwBn(sP)
A.P.O. 655 c/o Postmaster
New York, New York

To: Mrs. Dewain Silvester
Box 11,
Parker, Idaho
U.S.A.

Luxembourg, 27 December 1944

My Darlings,

How are you tonight?  Do you know how many times a day I tell you I love you?  Must be in the dozens anyway.  You’re such a perfect, precious wife.  I hope and pray so hard that the baby is like you.

Are you pretty crowded?  Are t hings running smoothly?  Honey, knock me a kiss.  I love you.

Guess what!  Today I had a wonderful hot shower, washed my hair, and was even able to get my hair cut.  It’s really short, well not much shorter than when I was in the desert.  And all of this followed a belated but huge and delicious Christmas, turkey dinner with all the trimmings except the plum pudding.

Sweetheart, I must stop.  It’s getting late and I have been going pretty strong lately.  The boys are doing a swell job.  It makes me kind of proud at times.  Take good care of yourself and the baby.  Always be happy.  I love you so much.  Good night precious.

Your wandering husband, Dewain

I hope your Christmas joy was a great at Grandpa’s was this year.  Merry Christmas!  Enjoy your hot showers.

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From 1st Lt. Dewain Silvester 0-1050923
BtrY.C.778AAAAwBn(sP)
A.P.O. 655 c/o Postmaster
New York, New York


To: Mrs. Dewain Silvester
Box 11,
Parker, Idaho
U.S.A.

Luxembourg, 26 December 1944

Precious Little Family,

This is letter number fifteen, I think.  Anyhow, darlings, please be well and happy right now and love me lots.  Was your Christmas nice?  Did it snow?  Did you get anything from your old man?  What did you get?  What did everyone get?  I was thinking of you so hard when you should have been eating Christmas dinner.  You could never imagine what I was doing.

As you see, your old man has been getting around a little.  No mail or word as yet.  It’s good I had too little time to worry.  Have you been getting a trickle of letters from me?  I surely hope so.  Darling, you ‘ll never know how terrifically much I love you.  You’re so doggone wonderful.

Have the folks been over recently?  How is everyone?  Are you kept pretty busy?  Be sure to take good care of yourself.  These letters must be a disappointment to you, sweetheart.  Can you forgive me.  As time permits, I will do better.  Never forget how terribly much you mean to me.

Yours, Dewain

There is so much unsaid in this short V-Mail.  I wonder where Grandpa was – in a tent or a Quonset hut, a proper building, or even outside somewhere.  It was winter, in the middle of the Battle of the Bulge, which I know little about in my dusty memory.  My dad (Happy Birthday – you’re born by now, even if Grandpa didn’t know it yet) gave me a book to read called “The Longest Winter” by Alex Kershaw.  It’s subtitled “The Battle of the Bulge and the Epic Story of World War II’s Most Decorated Platoon” (which isn’t Grandpa’s platoon – but they were out there, too).  I haven’t started it yet . . . but  hope to get some back story knowledge to supplement my letters here.

By December 26th, my Dad, baby Rick, was 4 days old . . . I wonder how grandma was feeling, and how much of Christmas dinner she was interested in, and how tired she was.  There’s so much left to imagination and my knowledge and personal experience.

Hope everybody had a warm and quiet Christmas, even as we remember Christmas 64 years ago.

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From 1st Lt. Dewain Silvester 0-1050923
BtrY.C.778AAAAwBn(sP)
A.P.O. 655 c/o Postmaster
New York, New York
To: Mrs. Dewain Silvester
Box 11,
Parker, Idaho
U.S.A.

England, Letter Number Twelve

My Darling Wife,

I hope and pray that you are well and happy.  If things went according to your schedule, the baby was born four days ago.  It is good that I simply have had no time to walk the floor and worry as other expectant fathers do because my wait is so much longer.  The most important message I await is that you are all right.  Then of course, as the the traditional proud father I want to know of our wonderful offspring.  You dominate all my thoughts.  I sincerely wish I could tell you how much I love you.  I hope so desperately that this war will soon end so that I can return to my beautiful family and be the kind of husband and father I want to be.  Know always of my desires and I love you so deeply.  I shall write again soon and try to do more justice to the feelings of my heart and mind.  I’ll say goodbye for now to the most beautifully perfect wife in the world.  Take care of yourself always.

Your wandering husband, Dewain.

This short letter is the first one in my binder, is written on a form that says “V ···—MAIL U.S. Government Printing Office: 1942 * 16-28143-4.”  Because the baby’s birth is pending, I’m dating this letter in December, 1944.

UPDATED NOTES on 12/21:

When I very started this project, 11/11/08, this was the first letter in my binder.  Since then, I rearranged the letters to be in chronological order.  This is one of the very few letters without a date, and one of the very few with a number on it.  Context lets me place it here . . .because I have letters from 12/5 and 12/26, 12/27 and then 1/6.  We’ll be out of England, going to Luxembourg and France.

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