Carol, do you have any love letters?
Episode #
Thursday, November 9, 2023

Carol, do you have any love letters?

The Storyworth Podcast
Episode Description

In honor of Veterans Day, we're sharing a collection of love letters written between newlyweds during World War II.

To: Mrs. Rudolph C. Denke
C/O Mrs. Jake Young
Spring Valley, Minnesota, USA

From: Staff Sergeant R.C. Denke
742 Bomb Squad
Army Post Office 520

April 5th, 1944, Southern Italy. 

Dear Princess Precious, 

The time approaches for me to pick up my pen and put it on paper. Things are really quiet tonight and I am the only one in the orderly room, so I'm going to peck out another one of my expert pieces of typing. Hope you don't mind too much. I got a letter from Mother Branham today, and she tells me that everything is alright. I'm really jealous of all Baby Skippy's aunts and uncles that are back there now, admiring my newborn son, holding him, and telling each other how cute he is, when all I can do over here is to wait longingly for the mail and use my imagination. I almost feel like an outsider, a total stranger. And again, it brings to me the realization that I am not the perfect husband and father that you deserve. Again, that question crops up in the back of my mind. Is the price you are paying worth being a soldier's wife? Funny, those thoughts that come to a man in the early hours of the morning when he is all alone and his mind wanders. I know your answer, and I know that it's wrong to even let myself start on that trend of thought, but a wandering mind has no consideration for right or wrong. 

We are having a taste of real summer weather. The last few days have been scorchers. Yates and Leadbetter have already begun to get a tan, and I guess that by the time the summer is over, we'll all have a healthy coat. 

Yates was kidding me again this evening. He claims that when a child is born, the mother forgets all about her husband and lavishes all her love on the new addition to the family. According to him, a man is good for bringing in the weekly paycheck. Is there anything to that, darling? 

The conversations in our tent are the craziest things. It makes life in our tent more interesting, and we get along much better with one another when we can get the other fellow's viewpoint. Every one of us has been the target of the other fella's kidding at one time or another, so none of us gets sore when it's our turn. Incidentally, darling, all the boys send along their very best regards to both you and little Skippy. Tex especially. 

Now that things are a little more settled at our camp, we get a lot more comfort than when we first got here. There still isn't any running water in our tents, but we have electricity and all the water we can carry from a well not too far away. There aren't many left with dirty hands and faces, only those who are too lazy to clean up. Well, my darling, there isn't much room left, so I guess it means that I'll have to bring my ramblings to a close. So with a million kisses, all my love to both you and Junior, and a prayer that soon, real soon, we can begin living the dreams and plans that we've had so long already to make, I'll say goodnight, my wonderful darling, pleasant dreams, and remember always that no matter where I go or what I do, I love you, I love you, I love you. Say hello to everyone for me. 

Forever and always, 

Your Rudy

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