World War II
World War II Soldier’s Letter To His Father

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Source: Paul Hardart

In this laconic letter of Lincolnesque eloquence is the barbed challenge of the soldier to the scoffers of democracy’s virility and courage. Selfish interest is completely submerged. Before the war, Lt. Robert Hardart was boxing champion, cheer leader and captain of the cross-country track team at Fordham University. His classmates voted him the most likely to succeed. What man amongst us dares say that this soldier has not already achieved a spiritual and physical apex far beyond the reach of most mortals? The letter was read into the Congressional Record.

Dear Pop:

Here we are again. Things are coming along fine. It’s slow work, but I’m improving daily. Just had a long talk, yesterday, with my nurse, and she convinced me that I should tell you what I’m going to. You will have to know it eventually, but I was going to put it off as long as possible.

First of all, I want you to know that I’m really cheerful and looking forward to getting home and learning to live a kind of new and different life. Instead of being blue and discouraged, I am very happy and have plenty of faith in a happy future. Now I’ll tell you what happened to me. So kind of brace yourself.

My legs were pretty badly wounded, but in time will be as good as new. However, I lost my right arm just below the elbow. Right now I can’t see, but with the facilities in the hospitals at home, the eye doctor here tells me there is a slight chance that they can make me see. However, I’m not really counting too much on that, because I feel that I will remain this way.

Well, dad, that is the story. I hated to tell you, but I know you would have wanted to know. For “gosh sakes” please don’t feel sorry for me. If you could see me here in the hospital, and all the fun I’m having – kidding the nurses and talking with all the swell visitors we have, you would say “there is nothing wrong with that guy, send him back to duty.” I’ve still got a lot to live for and that plus my fait hwill probably make me the happiest fellow in town.

By the way, a British major visited us the other night and we chatted for two interesting hours. Next day we got a box from him with a quart of milk, a bunch of apples, and two bottles of beer. Wasn’t that swell of him?

Say, I’m running overtime. You are getting more than you deserve. In closing, besides sending my love to all, I beg you to believe me when I say I am happy and contented and have a great faith and hope in the future.

Lovingly,
Bob.

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Submitted by: Ilana Faber
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