Saturday, February 19, 2011

Letter from Ray to Norm about his service

Dad and I were talking about Norm's story the other day.  Mom remembered she had a copy of a letter Ray wrote Norm about this and with his permission, I will share it with you today:

March 19, 1997

Dear Norm:
The other day while traveling and listening to Public Radio, I came across an interview of the author of the enclosed book.  (Editors Note: The Short Life of the ASTP by Francis Inglehar)....

....I am not sure if you were involved in the same field of battle.  The timing and Vosque Mountains seem to connect..  In any case reading the book brought back a flood of feelings and memories, an appreciation for you and the others who went through hell for us.

Nori and I discussed at some length (as best as we could imagine) what it must have been like for a barely 19 year old who had limited life's experiences, never held a gun, never traveled more than a days drive, never had been away from family to be faced with and be a part of that war.

For one who has never missed a meal, had a serious health problem, had empty pockets or threatened in any serious way, it may be hard to imagine the real effects of your experiences on you.

No day in my pre-adult life holds more memories than the day we found out you were wounded.  A very small, kindly man came to our door with a telegram that contained the news.  My reaction, my brothers, my classmates and most of all Dad's are clear to me.  I can still picture Dad sitting a small wooden chair in the middle of the living room staring at the telegram for what seemed like hours.  He was also and helpless to know more or to anything for his injured son.  This was the only time I ever saw Dad in a position of helplessness.  He showed the depth of his love and from that moment,I was always sure that I could count on him to be there for me if needed.

This was truly a family crisis......
....Love, Ray

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