About this blog

As the author of this blog, Karen L Garner Martin Messick, I am the daughter of an American soldier, Wilbur (Bill) C. Garner, Sr. and Women's Royal English Navy service woman (British Wren) Gwendoline Rosa Wilkins, who met and married during World War II. They lived and loved for over 50 years before Mother passed in 2000. When she did I helped Dad with every day chores when I could. One day I was helping him clear things out and I lifted a plastic bag out of the seat of Mom's piano stool, asking Dad, "Whats in this bag?" to which he replied, "Just some of Mary's old letters." Mary, his older sister, was still alive at the time, residing in an assisted living facility, suffering from Alzheimer's disease. I put the letters back in the piano seat thinking he did not want me to open the letters.
When Dad passed two years later, I inherited Mary's letters.
When I began to read them, I found they were mostly letters from Dad to Mary while he was in World War II ("The War"). I could not put them down. I wished I had opened them the day I first saw them so that Dad and I could have had conversations about them, but that was not to be...so as I read through these "Letters to Mary" I began to get a glimpse into Dad's young years when he met Mom and his time as a soldier. I have researched events during World War II to enhance my understanding of what was happening in the war as each letter came to broaden my understanding of what he might have been experiencing. I knew he landed on the beaches of Normandy, France D-Day plus 1 as he recounted his memory of that day to me when he was dying from Leukemia. It was horrifying. There were also letters from a companion Mary had met while in Minneapolis, he had been deployed overseas. I have entwined them chronologically with Dad's letters as it gives a greater dimension to the war itself. I intend to editorialize as necessary to explain personal relationships and situations as the story unfolds through the "Letters to Mary." I welcome any questions, comments and feedback. As the "Greatest Generation" fades away, I felt compelled to share these letters and story in hopes of continuing the legacy they left for the world. Let us never forget the untold years and lives that were sacrificed for freedom!
If you have stumbled upon this blog I have added a blog archive at the bottom of the blog page. Continue to scroll down to access the Blog Archive. The posts are chronologically listed and to follow the story it is best to start with the first post in December 2013.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Letter #55 from Henri C Romieux 20 December 1944

Henri Romieux, SK1c USNR
c/o Fleet P.O.
San Francisco, Calif.

Mary Garner, SK2c, USNR

20 DECEMBER 1944

Mary Dear,

Just received your letter of December 5th and as you well know was most happy to hear from you. No really I am not tired of your chatter about you plans for the holidays, so please, don't stop, but keep more of the same coming my way. I am anxious to hear all about your trip home and what you did while there, so don't disappoint me now and be sure and let me hear all about it. 

No such luck as my being back to go East with you but keep on dreaming, maybe some time it can all happen—who knows.
Had a letter from Mother in Quebec and she is all settled in her plans now and will spend the winter with her nephew in Montreal. She seems quiet happy again and if only she didn't worry too much about yours truly, she will be okay I know for the winter at least. She is really a wonderful old lady and I hope it will be possible for you to meet her sometime, cause I am sure you both would like each other much.
Please excuse the delay in answering your letters, but honestly it was not possible to write until this moment. As yet I have not received any of my packages. Some of the fellows got theirs recently so maybe mine will come in the next few days, I hope! 

Have you taken your exams for first class yet and when do you expect to be rated? As for me Chief is very far away and really I don't give a damn, cause I would almost as soon stay first and not have to put up with what I would have to in a higher rating and anyway. I expect to get out in a year, cause you know then I will be 42 and eligible for a discharge as I believe I have told you before. 

Just think today it makes three years I have been in this lash-up.

Well dear there is not much more to go on chattering about except to say all is fine by me and I hope I'll get to see you before more months roll by. Be sure and write soon and let me know all about Christmas.

Loads of Love- Henri

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