Letters to a Lost Soldier: MIA Return to Sender

Dear Daddy,
I wrote to you in December, 1944. The letters and packages we mailed to you APO box are being returned stamped MISSING IN ACTION - RETURN to SENDER. Mommy asked the post office if the packages with warm woolen gloves, socks and mufflers could be given to another soldier and was told NO, it's against government regulations. She cries all the time. Her parents, Mimi and Bepa, left Los Angeles and traveled all the way to Chicago to live with us until you return home. My second grade teacher suggested that I keep writing letters to you and keep them in a safe place so you can catch up on what I've been doing while you are away fighting in the war. Your last letter to mommy was addressed to Mrs. Clametz and we were worried that you forgot how to spell our last name. Then Uncle Eddie consulted the world atlas and discovered that Metz is in France and that's where you must be. He called people he knows in Washington, DC to get more information, but all he could tell us was that Missing in Action is not Killed in Action. Harold is still alive and we will find him, he said. We take care of our own.

I asked Mimi and Bepa to take me to Marshall Field's to see Santa, but they said that we don't believe in that story. They gave in when I cried. The line was long and it took time for me to sit on Santa's lap. I showed him the picture of you that I had hidden in my muff and asked him to look for you when he is traveling around the world. I said you are missing and he needs to find you and bring you home. He looked sad, shook his head and asked if  I wanted a toy and also if I have been a good girl. What could I say? I couldn't ask for a toy, although I wanted to have a doll, because I had to tell him that my sister and I fight all the time and I have started to wet the bed at night. Mommy is mad at me because she has to wash my sheets and blankets downstairs in the basement which is very cold even though the coal is delivered down a chute and the boiler is there.

I'm glad to have a warm bedroom and don't want to go out on the cold, but I need to walk to school every day bundled in a snow suit, leggings, galoshes and a hat. Mimi knit a wool helmet for me with little peep holes for my eyes, nose and mouth, but it is freezing outside and I come home with icicles hanging from my nose. We hear that it is one of the very coldest winters in Europe this year and hope you are staying warm wherever you are. I go to the movies 
on Saturdayafternoons and look for you in the newsreels, but it is hard to tell one soldier from another. I'm scared watching all the shooting and I wish Mimi and Bepa would sit with me instead of leaving to stand on long lines to buy rationed food so we have enough to eat. They have also been invited to a party at Uncle Eddie's house tonight and I am excited about seeing my aunts, uncles and cousins, but it won't be fun without you. You and your brothers ways have good jokes to share and make us laugh.
I will tell you all about it in my next letter. I miss you, Daddy, and I think about you all the time.