Dear Daddy,

(I originally wrote in May, 1945) You are coming home! The War Department notified us that you will travel on a troop ship from Le Havre to New York. They said not to meet you on the dock and won’t give us a date for your arrival.

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The military has plans for you that don’t include us. When they are ready, you will land in Chicago. We’ve waited a long time for you to come home and can be patient a few more weeks.

The Chicago Tribune reported that U-boats are surrendering to the U.S. Navy on the East Coast. One Nazi submarine commander said his wireless picked up Adm. Doenitz’ order to give up. Our Navy found 11 torpedoes aboard the Nazi ship when it surrendered at Cape May. Thank God the war in the Atlantic is over.

The Army says that Americans who have been Prisoners of War in Nazi Germany can still contribute to winning the war. They are going over every case and some men will be assigned to the Pacific. I hope it’s not you!

First, they want you to get the medical and dental care you need so you will be in “tip-top” shape before sending you home or elsewhere. They are giving complete medical exams and reassigning men to new units.

You can write as many letters as you want, but we were told to save our letters for you until you come home. That’s exactly what I’ve done! There are 31 letters including this one tucked inside your living room books so you can read what I’ve been up to.

While you’re waiting at Camp Lucky Strike, and when you’re on a transport, the Army will provide the news you’ve missed. They’re arranging informal talks and discussions about what lies ahead for you at home.

You have a loving family here and it’s not just Mommy, my grandparents, sister and me. Your brothers and their families are already planning celebrations to welcome you home, and cousins on Mommy’s side of the family have been calling with invitations and good wishes. Mommy said she needs a social secretary to help her manage. Do we have one big party or lots of little ones? I vote for all of the above.

When you arrive back in the United States, the Army will send you to a reception station near home. They’ll notify Mommy and you can exchange telephone calls from there. You’ll get back pay, new issues of clothing, and whatever ribbons and awards you have earned. This is so exciting!

The Army will give you checks and cash, as well as rationing coupons for gas, food and shoes. This is starting to sound real.

After a 30 or 60-day furlough, depending on their medical examiner’s decision, you will report to a redistribution station. Mommy can join you there at your expense, but no other family members are allowed. “There will be discussions with other former Prisoners of War about adjustments at home and problems on the Home Front. The Army wants you to know what lies immediately ahead for you and information about your eventual return to peacetime living after final victory.”

Mimi and Bepa plan to move to Aunt Miriam’s house, then return here when Mommy is on vacation with you. My sister doesn’t bully, taunt and try to scare me when Mimi is around. Mommy ignores my sister’s behavior toward me and doesn’t stop her like Mimi does.

I hope you are home before summer vacation from school and I can talk with you instead of writing letters. My teacher helps me with spelling, grammar and punctuation. I wouldn’t be able to write well without her supervision and corrections. She says I have great potential and can do anything I set my mind to. [She likes quoting Benjamin Franklin.] I will miss my nice teacher, a good friend.

I need someone to protect me from my sister. I hope she will be nicer when you are here. I’m happy my Daddy is coming home. Will you still be my friend and protector?

Love,
Maxine

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