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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

Early Years

Early Years

My mom and I moved several times during WW II while Dad was in the Army. He’d already served three years in the 30s, but Uncle Sam drafted him soon after I was born in the early 40s.

In order to be near him, we moved to Albany, Oregon because he was stationed at Camp Adair with the 70th Division. He trained troops there for the south Pacific.

Our next move was to Fort Leonard Wood, near Waynesville, Missouri. After a few months, Mom and I moved back to Fort Scott where we began, while Dad received orders to France in 1944 and later into Germany.

I think Mom took this picture when we lived in Oregon. Our first house there was a basement divided into three rooms. I slept in a dresser drawer until Mom could locate a bed.

After we returned to Fort Scott, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents in southwest Missouri on a farm. Good babysitters were hard to come by in those days.

I cover these events in my latest novel, Hard Times in the Heartland available on Amazon in paperback and e-reader.

What memories of your young years do you recall?

 

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

Four Generations that Built America

Four Generations that Built America

This picture contains three of the people I’ve written about in my historical fiction books. On the left is Sanford Deering the main character of The Late Sooner who went into the Oklahoma Territory in the first land run in 1889. The lady is Nora, The Late Sooner’s Daughter, who came back to Missouri when she was nine. The child is my father, Henry, of Hard Times in the Heartland who served in WW II. The old gentleman on the right is Henry Greenup Deering, father of Sanford Deering. This picture must have been taken about 1911.

Because my mother was a keeper of stuff, I have a treasure trove of letters, diaries, and pictures to draw from. I guess these novels are nearer fact than fiction. Perhaps there should be a classification of faction for these books.

Recently, my publisher for these books has gone out of business so I am republishing them on my own. They are available Amazon.com in paperback and e-book. at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007F5H0H4

Early Beginnings

Early Beginnings

Henry Freeman 6 mo.2

A hundred and sixteen years ago, little boys wore dresses until they were about two years old. Here is a picture of my dad, Henry, at six months.

In his lifetime he lived through WW I, the Roaring 20s, The Depression, WW II, the Korean War and The Vietnam War.

At age ten, a crop-duster pilot flew into a nearby field near my dad’s small town and said he would take one person for a ride. Everyone chipped in to buy a chance. My dad won the lottery. That one ride started him on a lifetime love of flying. When he was 60, he obtained his commercial pilot license. At the time, he was the oldest person in Kansas to ever receive this license. He never actually flew a commercial flight–it was just one of his long-term goals.

I remember the day the U.S. landed on the moon. My husband and I and our children were in the Ozarks with my folks. As my dad drove he kept saying, “I just can’t believe we’ve actually landed on the moon!” Had he been younger, I’m sure he would have been in line to apply to be an astronaut.

A lot has changed in 116 years. At least little boys don’t have to wear dresses anymore!

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

The First Time

The First Time

henry-freeman-early-1930s

Dad did two hitches in the Army. One from 1934-37. Another one from 1943-45. This picture is from the first taken in Fort Leavenworth, I think. The first time was voluntary. The second mandatory.

Do you have many relatives who saw service in WW II?

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

German Coin Purse

German Coin Purse

When U.S. soldiers came home from WW II they were not permitted to carry a lot of plunder.  Very few stores were in operation by the time the men came home.

I don’ t really know where Dad got this little purse. It was his gift to me from Germany. It’s only about three inches long. If only objects could talk!

Do you have an object from your past that begs an explanation?

 

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

Train Stations–WW II

Train Stations–WW II

 

 

The Ottawa, Kansas train station still stands, although today it serves as a museum. Sitting forty-five miles southwest of Kansas City, it has seen its share of departures and homecomings.

On a late October night, 1945, my dad arrived from his mandatory trip of almost a year in France and Germany at the request of the U.S. Army. Thus his commitment ended from his draft notice delivered to him twenty-seven months earlier.

After the war, he went on to establish a partnership with his brother-in-law in an Oldsmobile dealership, a motel, and an asphalt paving company. Their partnership lasted for over 40 years.

The two of them died within two weeks of one another, almost forty years after they both came back from WW II in the European Theatre.

My other blogs:

 https://familyfavoritesfromtheheartland.wordpress.com/ and https://godslittlemiraclebook.wordpress.com

WW II Draft Notice

WW II Draft Notice

You’d think if you’d voluntarily served in the Army for three years, you wouldn’t be called again, right? Read this excerpt from “Hard Times in the Heartland”. 

The next Monday evening Henry picked out the mail from the box and thumbed through it while he ate some leftover turkey hash before heading to the hospital. One letter was from the Selective Service Agency. He tore it open. Inside was a card on which was written:

Notice of Reclassification

Henry Sanford Freeman has been reclassified from 4-A to 1-A.

It was signed by the local draft board member and postmarked on November 25, 1942.

Henry whispered, “My God. The day after Sally was born.”

This book is available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com in paperback and e-reader.

My other blogs: 

https://familyfavoritesfromtheheartland.wordpress.com/ and https://godslittlemiraclebook.wordpress.com

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