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Sarge and I

Sarge and I

I spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s home near Nevada, Mo during the turbulent years of WW II. Dad was first stationed in Fort Leavenworth, then Oregon. He spent a brief time in Waynesville before he shipped out for France, then Germany with the Army’s 70th Division. He arrived on the battlefield just after the Battle of the Bulge, 1944 at age 34.

Since Mom held the position of store manager for the Edmiston’s Department Store in Fort Scott and Ottawa, KS, I was shuffled back and forth to Grandma’s often.

One of my companions was a collie named Sarge. When I went outside, he was always beside me. Here we are in Grandma’s side yard. I write about these years in Hard Times in the Heartland. Hard to believe this was over 70 years ago!

To see my books visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007F5H0H4

Life in Oregon in WW II

Life in Oregon in WW II

We became a family again when Mom and I took a train from Kansas City to Albany, Oregon. We started out in a car with a couple of other Army wives, but suffered a blowout near Wichita. With no ration stamps for tires we had to return home and wait for train tickets.

Dad was stationed at Camp Adair near Albany. We were able to stay in various apartments in the region in 1943 and into 1944 until Dad received orders to relocate to Fort Leonard Wood in central Missouri. His next stop was France.

We didn’t see him again for nearly a year while he and his 70th Division fought their way into Germany.

Mom took this picture in the summer of 1943 in Albany.

To read more about this time, check out Hard Times in the Heartland on Amazon.com.

 

To see my books visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007F5H0H4I

One Stop in WW II

One Stop in WW II

The last stop in our journeys to follow my dad in the States during WW II was in Waynesville, MO. He was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood before the Army shipped the 70th Division to France. By then I was twenty months old and had already lived in Kansas, Oregon, and Missouri.

My folks called this place “El Rancho.” We lived here with other couples because there was such a shortage of housing. Soon after this picture, Dad left to arrive in Europe just in time to pick up bodies after the Battle of the Bulge. That was the coldest winter Europe had had in fifty years.

This is one of the pictures he carried with him on the battlefield.

Did you move around a lot as a child?

To see my books visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007F5H0H4

Missing Daddy

Missing Daddy

For the first few years, my dad was in and out of my life. The day after I was born, he received a notice from the draft board that he had been reclassified from 4A to 1A. He had already served three years in the Army during the 30s.

After eight months the lottery draw of the draft board caught up with him in July of 1943. He was off to Fort Leavenworth for his physical on July 13 with thirteen other men from the Fort Scott area.

The Sargeant informed the men, “We’re not taking anyone 33 and older.”

Dad raised his hand. “Sir, I’ll be 33 tomorrow.”

“Well, you’re 32 today, soldier. Welcome to the Army.”

For the next twenty-seven months Dad trained troops with the 70th Division at Camp Adair, Oregon, saw action in France and Germany, and wrote many letters to Mom and me. I’ve taken them to create a “faction” novel rich in fresh insights from his perspective.

December 2016 marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor which plunged us into WW II.

Hard Times in the Heartland is available on Amazon.com