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Random Thoughts

A Day in the Life of a Soldier

November 11, 2016
Dad with Army Buddies

Dad in front, with Army buddies holding a fish.

My father proudly served in World War II as a medic in Patton’s army. When he came back from the war, he never wanted to talk about it. All he would say was is it was hell.

He did tell me that the Germans used the red crosses on their helmets as targets, and my brother tells me that the medics were eventually armed with guns for self protection.

My dad’s job was to help the wounded after they became injured in battle, so he saw the tragedy and human price of war close-up. By the time he was in his 90’s, more than 65 years after the war, he was finally able to talk about trying to piece bodies together and stop the bleeding.

I hate to even imagine what that must have been like. It affected him so much that he said when he died he wanted people to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project, which they did.

My mom kept some of the letters he sent during the war and this was a page from one of them. The date was July 26, 1945. The war was over in Europe, but Japan had not surrendered yet and there was the possibility that he might be shipped there.

This page of the letter isn’t full of drama, it’s just about a soldier temporarily in a beautiful place, away from his family, wondering if he’ll be shipped off to another battleground.  It’s an interesting little piece of history.

An interesting note here is that my dad was not a U.S. citizen until he was drafted into the army. And even though the war in Europe was technically over when this letter was written, the army wouldn’t let him go on leave to visit his family in Italy. He was sad about that because he hadn’t seen them for about 13 years.

I love the part  of this letter where he tells my mom, “So don’t worry, capisci?” (Capisci means understand?, or you know? in Italian.)Page 2 of Dad's letter from Nice France July 26, 1942.jpg

He goes on to tell her there’s nothing to worry about. Then he says, “Some day this will be over.” Luckily, the war did end after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th, and he did get to come home.

But he was right, war is hell. So today let’s take a moment and give thanks for all the young men and women in the military who serve and often risk their lives for us.  They deserve our respect and gratitude. I wish them all a safe, peaceful Veteran’s Day.

good copy of V-mail.jpg

The other side of the letter


  • Reply
    Monica Muehsam
    November 12, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Such a nice tribute, Fran, and how wonderful that you still have that letter. My grandfather served in the Pacific theater during WW2 and he was like your dad, he never wanted to talk about it. I can’t imagine the hell they went through, but I’m so grateful for their service.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      November 13, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      No kidding, it must have been horrendous for them. God bless them all. And thanks for always writing and reading my blogs. When I can finally afford good alcohol, I am going to start a serious liquor cabinet so I can make your drinks!

  • Reply
    Mandy Gustafsen
    November 11, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Thank you Poppa Tunno for your service!! Nice story – wow!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      November 11, 2016 at 10:59 pm

      Thanks Mandy! I’m sure my dad says, “You’re welcome.”

  • Reply
    November 11, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Beautiful, Fran. My grandfather served in the infantry in World War I. Thanks to your dad, Bob, the Maupins, and all who have served to preserve and protect our freedom.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      November 11, 2016 at 10:58 pm

      Thank you Linda, I know. We don’t realize how much so many people in our circles have done for our country. Thanks for always reading and taking the time to comment!

  • Reply
    JoAnn Jones
    November 11, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing the thoughts and letter from your dad. God bless our military always and God bless America ! Cousin, JoAnn

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      November 11, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      Thanks Joann, I agree!

  • Reply
    George Maupin
    November 11, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Thanks for sharing the letter, Fran. The Maupin-name is a part of American History. My one-term United States Air Force active duty stands in the shadows of my family’s veterans: 1. Daniel Maupin – who served with George Washington; 2. Charles Smith Maupin, who wore the Gray in the Civil War – serving with J.E.B. Stuart & others; 3. His son & my grandpa, C. Socrates Maupin, Jr. who served with then-Captain John J. Pershing in the Philippines; and a cousin who was shot down over Germany during WW II. I salute my two brothers who joined the United States Air Force during the 1960s. The most recent was Ohio’s Keith “Matt” Maupin; captured in Iraq & executed by the enemy while a POW. [His mom’s webpage says, “All gave some, some gave all.” – – – Matt Maupin gave ALL!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      November 11, 2016 at 10:56 pm

      Wow George, that is amazing…your family has sacrificed so much. I salute you.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Dad was in combat near the end of his tour in Europe with Patton’s army. He told me he was put back into the infantry! 

    From: At Fran’s Table To: Sent: Friday, November 11, 2016 3:40 AM Subject: [New post] A Day in the Life of a Soldier #yiv5770221189 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv5770221189 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv5770221189 a.yiv5770221189primaryactionlink:link, #yiv5770221189 a.yiv5770221189primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv5770221189 a.yiv5770221189primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv5770221189 a.yiv5770221189primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv5770221189 | Fran Tunno posted: “My father proudly served in World War II as a medic. When he came back from the war, he never wanted to talk about it.  All he would say was is it was hell.Although he never had to fight, he had to help the wounded after they did and saw the tragedy a” | |

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      November 11, 2016 at 9:24 am

      Oh wow, I didn’t know that. Thanks for the update. I’ll make the change!

  • Reply
    Bob Erbeck
    November 11, 2016 at 1:13 am

    That’s a very nice letter. I salute your dad and all the medics who have ever served. I know it’s not easy to do the things he had to do and under those circumstances too. I’ve known a few medics and have heard their stories. Not a job I would have been good at, for sure.

    My mom kept every letter I sent to my folks from Vietnam. I tried to write once or twice a week. I have them all now and a few years ago I decided to type them all on my computer, just to keep for myself. There were incidents happening that I didn’t include in the letters, because I didn’t want my folks to worry any more than they already were. As I perused each page, I could read between the lines and some of those forgotten memories came rushing back. Thanks for sharing your dad’s letter. I enjoyed reading it.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      November 11, 2016 at 9:26 am

      Oh Bob, thanks so much for sharing that. Your letters are living history, make sure someone has a copy of them and thank you so much for serving! Thanks also for always reading and taking the time to write!

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