“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…Now I’ll tell you what happened to me. So kind of brace yourself…”
After sustaining severe injuries during combat in World War II, lieutenant Robert Hart maintains a positive outlook for his future. In this letter for his father while in recovery, Hart demonstrates remarkable courage and determination. Omitting the details of the trauma that would leave him permanently disabled for the rest of his life, Hart reassures his father that he still has “a lot to live for”:
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 the 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 faith will 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 great faith and hope in the future.