Thousand Letters Home, A
[amazon 098395531X full]
After the death of her father, Aarol W. Bud Irish, in 2006, Teresa Irish opened the Army trunk that had resided in the family home her entire life. There, nestled in row after row, were her Dads nearly 1,000 handwritten letters from WWII. Visited only by him over the course of six decades, the letters were postmarked from November 1942 to December 1945. The fragile and yellowed pages were written to Buds parents and to the sweetheart who would become his wife, Elaine Corbat. From lonesome, moonlit nights listening to the Hit Parade, to the foxholes and front lines in Germany where Bud would receive the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, and two Bronze Stars, to correspondence with the heartbroken mothers whose sons died by his side, this is a moving and historic story of life and loss, hope and perseverance, unwavering faith, and true love. This firsthand account through the eyes, heart, and words of one soldier mirrors the journeys of many who served in WWII - millions of young Americans abruptly pulled from civilian life and thrust into the unfamiliar world of a military at war. At every opportunity, Bud poured out his thoughts and feelings in these letters, all amidst reassuring words to loved ones a world away. The transition from boy to man is apparent in the passing of the weeks, months and years. A selection of these poignant letters and accompanying photographs are contained in the newly published, A Thousand Letters Home. This book is for the children, grandchildren and future descendants of all veterans. This book is for all Americans lest we forget.
This is a fascinating book: A treasure trove for any student of history, especially anyone interested in World War II. The author has set forth a unique perspective of a young man’s twentieth century voyage from peaceful Michigan to the terrors of war. Bud Irish was a diligent writer of letters and through many of the letters he wrote, this book offers the reader an inside look at what Irish’s life was like, and what he was thinking as he made the transition from civilian to soldier. The book takes you through his training, his time in combat, and his return home. It is indeed a moving account that left me with a great deal of admiration for Bud Irish, the man and the soldier. In addition to the letters the author has included several excerpts from the “102nd Thru Germany” part of the 102nd Infantry Division’s official history as released by the Army Public Affairs. I highly recommend this book.
Reviewed by: Bob Doerr (2012)