My husband was in the Army for 35 years. He graduated from West Point in 1942. We got married as soon as he graduated, and right after that, we moved to Fort Bragg where he did some training. We lived in billeting and slept on army cots for a few weeks – there were no facilities for wives showing up like I did. The post was chaos, with people coming and going, and crammed into overcrowded billeting.
After a few weeks he shipped out to England. I went back to live with my parents, and we didn’t see each other again until late 1945. During that time, we wrote letters back and forth, and didn’t speak to each other for three years. We used to number the letters as we sent them, because often he would get a packet of letters all at the same time, without any way to know which ones had been written first. We had to be careful with what we said, because military censors read every letter. It wasn’t so much that we were worried about giving away secrets; it was more that it was embarrassing to have someone else read our private words to each other. We would have said a lot more if we had dared. After all, we had only been married a month or so before he left.
Later on, after the war, there were stories about our men with the English girls, and when they got to Germany, the frauleins turned many heads. I suppose I didn’t think about that while he was gone. We all of us assumed that our husbands and wives would be faithful. Like the song says, Don’t sit under the apple tree, with anyone else but me.
How nerve-wracking it was to wonder if he was still alive, I cannot describe. It was not so bad until 1944, when it became clear that something was going to happen. He was an infantry officer and was part of the first wave to land on Omaha Beach. Most of the men in his command died during the landing.

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