Mail Call: A Soldier’s Letters Home


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Did he die a hard death General? Please won't you drop me a line and tell me if he suffered long or not. My mind is so uneasy" p. Litoff and Smith have done a great service to scholars of women's studies, women's history, and war. These letters represent a solid selection of primary source documents, earning this book a spot next to the now-standard monographs on American women and World War II, including Karen Anderson's Wartime Women and Susan Hartmann's The Homefront and Beyond.

The book will provide useful source material for undergraduates writing research papers and will certainly spark ideas for additional historical study. Academics and non-academics will enjoy the sheer readability of the book. I do have a couple of quibbles, though. The first is minor.

To me, the question "Don't you know there's a war on? By the chapter title alone I expected totally different letters. The second is more crucial. The letters deserve lengthier contextual chapter introductions. I realize that the editors did not intend this as a historical monograph, but readers would be more firmly grounded in the time period if they knew more home front and military history. The Gudis-Kramer correspondence, for example, takes on greater significance if the readers understand what constituted "ladylike" behavior and the efforts that the government and military took to keep morale up.

These concerns aside, this book is necessary reading for anyone interested in women and war.

Mail Call: Soldiers Write Home

Citation: Theresa Kaminski. H-Women, H-Net Reviews. May, We'll be gone about 45 minutes. Remember, you're not allowed to read any of that mail while we're gone, okay? That was the first time I realized that my TI was really an okay guy and not the ogre I thought him to be. Mail call is usually every evening, Monday through Saturday. At the end of the duty day, the drill instructor will enter the barracks, call out names, and pass out mail.

Mail Call: World War II communication as told by a soldier's diary

You're then usually granted about one hour of free time to read your mail. If you read fast, you may even have a few extra minutes towrite a quick letter back. Ask your family, friends, and loved ones to send you lots of mail during your time in basic training. I can't emphasis enough how much hearing from home helps, even if you don't have much free time available to answer. Also, be sure to ask for written mail only.

Do not ask for items such as food, money, and prohibited items which will be addressed when you arrive at basic training. In basic training, you will be put under more stress and for a longer period of time than you have experienced during your entire life. Unfortunately, this type of stress provides fertile grounds for improper even dangerous behavior, such as suicide attempts or running away AWOL.

To combat this problem, the services make sure that you're never, ever alone during basic training. One of your classmates will be assigned to be your battle buddy. Your battle buddy will be your best friend from the very first day of basic training to the very last day. Join the Military. Staying Connected During Basic Training.

I believe that every life is worth saving, and the massacre in Iraq should remind us that war should be avoided at all costs. This conflict could have been avoided.

June 06, 2009

Alternative solutions could have been found through dialogue, and thousands of lives would have been spared. Instead, ignoring international pleas for peace, the United States went forth into war, with its all too familiar "with us or against us" stance. Do you wonder why anti-American sentiments are on the rise when such jingoism is used to cover the shame of America's bloodstained hands—blood not only of its own citizens but also that of others in the world?

Divya Babu Ixopo, South Africa. I always enjoyed reading your international magazine, but now I am shocked that you turned the subject into a whole obituary issue. I sympathize with the families of U. What purpose did you serve except to reopen the wounds of the dead soldiers' families? Noa Kayat London, England. This is first-class journalism—strong, simple, human. Lars Nielsen Copenhagen, Denmark.

More than just a tribute to the fallen and a contribution to a wide understanding of the conflict, your Special Issue is a serious piece of military history. Miguel Freire Carcavelos, Portugal. Your story vividly conveyed the idea that the 3, Americans killed in Iraq were not only "casualties," "KIA," "fallen soldiers," "losses" or "TV news. Individuals who loved, cared, worried, had dreams, plans and ambitions. Three thousand, two hundred and thirty families were undoubtedly devastated. However, the "enemies," "insurgents," "moving shadows," "hajjis" or whatever other names they are called by, were also flesh-and-blood humans; they too had kids, parents, wives.

They had families to feed. And, like it or not, they too had a faith, a country, or pride to defend. Untimely death is a tragedy. How many lives will be lost and families shattered on both sides before President Bush comes to terms with realities concerning the war in Iraq? Azzam A. El Hait Cairo, Egypt. The cost to the United States is nothing compared to what it has done—and continues to do—to Iraqis. Why don't you publish stories of Iraqis' suffering and dying in this war? Taimur Usman Karachi, Pakistan. Thank you. As a soldier, I understand the highs and lows of U.

World War II veterans open surprise thank you letters on their Honor Flight trip

I believe the war in Iraq was an unnecessary war of choice that will do nothing but endanger humanity as a whole. However, the real culprits of the war are the generals and admirals at the Pentagon who sat and did nothing: they failed to tell their commander in chief that real wars are not videogames. Shame on the men who did not have the honor to place the interest of the nation and the military above their need for rank and self-advancement. The result: thousands of Iraqi and American deaths and a war that will not stop even if the United States withdraws today.

A collection of letters sent by my father to his parents during World War II. From 1944-1946.

Hassan Alhaji Abuja, Nigeria. Your special issue offered real "shock and awe. I could hardly stop weeping as I felt the deepest sorrow for the dead and my heart is with those who have lost a loved one forever.


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But after grief, there is anger and outrage that so many—American, English and countless Iraqi—lives ended unnecessarily as a result of Bush's war against Saddam. Wars inevitably claim their death tolls. But the crucial point is, what did the soldiers die for?

These were the reasons to launch war against Iraq. Both have turned out to be false assumptions at best, lies at worst. Bush also promised Americans they would be much safer after Saddam's brutal dictatorship had been toppled. Now Saddam and his regime are gone forever. But Americans are still not safe. On the contrary, anti-Americanism has soared, America has many more enemies than before the war.

Mail Call: A Soldier’s Letters Home
Mail Call: A Soldier’s Letters Home
Mail Call: A Soldier’s Letters Home
Mail Call: A Soldier’s Letters Home
Mail Call: A Soldier’s Letters Home
Mail Call: A Soldier’s Letters Home
Mail Call: A Soldier’s Letters Home

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