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.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Letter #75 from Joseph Randolph Garner to Mrs. Souil Wade Garner 3 April 1945

This letter while not addressed to Mary was in the collection of letters Mary saved, it was important to her, so I have included it here as the date flows in sequence with the other letters to Mary. Bill, in his "Letters to Mary", makes reference to Joe on occasion. It certainly enhances the readers understanding of Joseph Randolph Garner, Mary and Bill's brother who seemed to always be in trouble, especially when in the military. It is the second letter from Joe, among the letters Mary saved, since his last "Letter To Mary" dated October 13, 1930, which was recorded on this blog on December 24, 2013.

Pvt. J.R. Garner, 20343522
Co#2 E.C.P.C.
Camp Edwards, Mass

Mrs. S.Wade Garner
2425 Calverton Heights Ave

Maryland April 3, 1945 12:00 Noon


Your second letter has just reached me & I feel compelled to answer it immediately. I wish to state right here & now, that the Red Cross happens to be in my opinion the biggest bunch of first class liars & graftus in existence & they are bearing that out. 

My letter of Friday was the first correspondence I've even attempted with you since as you say, July 3, 43. As for forgiveness in my opinion I've not done anything to be forgiven for. I'd greatly appreciate it if you & dad would keep strictly out of this affair now. After all I am about 32 years old now & if I am not capable of managing my own affairs by this time in life I'll never be. Please don't waste any time on worry over me. I've no need or desire for any outside interference or assistance at present & don't anticipate any in the future. Regarding the letter you have addressed to me from 43 I'd rather not have it at the present time.
I don't mean for this letter to sound nasty or smart so please don't take it that way. It does I believe express exactly how I feel' 


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