My grandfather really couldn’t say much about the work he was doing. When I read the passage about all the doctors assembled at the base, it gave me an ominous feeling. I have been reading a lot of blogs lately, many of which relate World War II experiences. Many of my fellow bloggers also share letters that were written by their family members during World War II. One thing I find overwhelmingly in common with these other bloggers is that our family members made it home. I have read very few blogs with letters from those who did not make it home. Ultimately, we know there is a happy ending when we read these letters.
Because my grandfather was a doctor, he was exposed to a lot of the horror of the war. I cannot imagine all the mangled and broken bodies that he was required to see, that he tried to mend. A doctor is trained to be discrete. In his civilian practice, my grandfather was required by his oath as a doctor to keep the ailments of his patients private. This was especially so in a small town where everyone knew everyone else’s business. So when one takes a doctor’s ordinary reticence to discuss private matters and then adds a dash of military secrecy, one gets very little information or none at all. I know my grandfather did not discuss his naval experiences with me, other than the cursory statements that he served in the Navy in the pacific during World War II. He did not discuss it with his children. My father remembers no war stories from his childhood. My grandfather had a tough job. He may not have carried a gun or shot at the enemy, but he saw the damage that war creates. The image of fifty doctors assembled at Moffett on that day in August 1942 does give me pause. There was so much that was unknown on that day in August and I am thankful that my grandfather had a happy ending.
We are still working around. This morning I had a box made a sort of cedar chest out of old packing boxes had to have it for the extra things I bought.
That letter I wrote yesterday was sorta jumbled up. I started it in the morning at our headquarters then some yelled there was a car going to San Francisco so we jumped + ran. Then the next was on the train and then in the P.O. at Mountain View. That is a little town about ¾ mile from the base.
There seems to be lots going on but we can’t say too much. The weather here is splendid just a little to[o] cold at times without extra cover and extra clothes. I was under two blankets last night and wasn’t any to[o] warm at that.
I think they scared[?] up about the extra cap but neverless I have another. And it is too tight. Gives
(page 2) me the headache. So this A.M. I wore the old one. I’ll get the hair cut Tue. The regular navy kind so it will fit.
I wrote both the boys last night but sent those regular mail. I’m going to write several persons around town this P.M. but all those will be regular mail.
There are something like 50 Drs. Here here and the greater majority of them are Lt. Comm. So the few jgs that are here feel sorta out of place. I met a fellow from Marion Ind. Yesterday. He was in school at the same time I was. His name is Coffel. He was in the class of 1938. The same as Art Burnett.
It is about time for the air mail to go out so I’ll get going,