When people leave home to participate in war,
the urge to communicate with family and friends left behind is universal.
In this section we present letters longing for home.

1940s Italy

Candi Hansen tells Nebraska Public Radio: "Enclosed is a copy of a letter my dad wrote to his fiancé, my mother, during World War Two. My mother recently died after a 54-year marriage to my father, who still lives in Pender, Nebraska." Carol's father is Sergeant Wilbur Weddingfeld.

December 25, Italy
Sergeant Wilbur Weddingfeld

December 25


Dear Marge,

Just finished reading three letters from you, a perfect Christmas present under the circumstances. You asked what I want to do when I get back. I want to go to dances, shows, etc., just as you do, and we will, but most of all I just want to live the life of an average American. While over here, there are a lot of things I think of that would like to do. In fact, all of things I used to do before coming over here, but that's just because I am over here. You see, all the things I think I want to do are just everyday occurrences back there, like having a coke, or hamburger or going to a dance. To tell you the truth, I haven't thought about doing anything special. I just want to do what I did before I left — live the way I want to.

I realize time must pass slowly for those waiting at home. As far as not being able to have a good time, just stop and think that while those people are having their fun, there are guys over here giving their lives (and I do mean dying) just so those people and everyone else can keep on having a good time.

You know, I think, in fact I know, I'm pretty darned lucky. I'm overseas and have been for about as long as anyone, but we have a paradise compared to the guys up front. They go through more hell in a day than we do in a year. That's why you don't hear me complaining much, except that I'm homesick and that happens to everyone.

Now, I don't mean people at home shouldn't want to be having fun, but whenever they get to feeling it's tough because they can't be going places, just think of the guys who would just like to stick their heads out of a trench without getting shot at, and I think you'll feel that it's not so bad missing out on a few good times.





1943 Europe          1940s Italy