June 13, 1945 (2)

Okinawa Shima – Ryukyu Islands

13 June 1945

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

It is about dark but I wanted to say I love you more than ever. I received two more letters from you, they were for June 3rd and 4th. The letters were such a great help to me. Dear, the records also arrived but I’m not going to open them until the fighting is over. The outward appearance indicates the fact that they are okay. I also got some back young peoples magazines from the denomination which the men really enjoy. Besides your letters, I heard from The First Church Long Beach, Jeanne Wyckoff, Captain Mason, Joan Cable, Doug Powell, Lois Sloan, Lyle Boer of Lexington, grandmother, more letters from wives, mothers and sweethearts and official mail. Darling, I cannot see anymore. Good night, I love you so very much.

Early 14 June 1945

Sarah, My Dearest One:

I certainly don’t like to have to write you such letters but it is the very best I can do for the time being. I just wish I could have one full hour without interruptions so I could write you a good letter. Last evening, I was very very tired for I had been on the go ever since finishing yesterday morning’s letter to you. At 9 o’clock  I had a service for an isolated unit and this afternoon at 2 o’clock I had a service for another one of our Regimental battalions. And then of course I had my regular evening service at 6 o’clock for the men. We had a little drop in attendance last night. There were only about 110 in attendance. During this service I had an opportunity for the men to give their favorite scripture verse or one that had proven itself especially dear to them during this campaign. Many men gave verses. And it was certainly gratifying to see the way they responded. I spoke on, “What doth it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” I do wish I could get a little more time to prepare my messages, but I have to sandwich my thinking and preparation in with whatever I happen to be doing. I always try and read the scripture and Secret Place each day. I have done it under some very unusual conditions. Such as walking out to bring a wounded man back to the aid station. I sincerely believe we can do most anything if we really mean business and really want to. Christ is such a great helper.

Pocket Bible that Willis carried with him throughout the war.

Outside of the time I spent reading mail which I received I spent the entire day taking care of several problems for men and then I tried to get toilet articles and writing paper for the men. The weather conditions have been so unbearable that many men lost some of their supplies and equipment, and then of course a certain percentage is generally destroyed by shellfire. I have lost several things that way but so far I still have all your pictures and Emma’s New Testament. The nice large picture of you and the folks and other valuables are being held in the rear areas in storage until this campaign is over. I talked to several different men about religious things. It is encouraging to have men come to you some time later and tell you that they have been thinking about something which had been called to their attention in a sermon some time before. It was hot and cloudy yesterday for which I was thankful because each rainless day helps us just that much more in finishing this campaign all together.

I’m going to take enough time to make a few comments on your letter of May 12th. Your letters, no matter how old, always means so very much to me. I shall be glad to meet Sherry. I know she must be a wonderful girl and I’m so glad to know she has meant so much to you. I hope John gets a better break than Paul Allen has had, a chaplain’s work is hard enough as it is without having commanding officers who are not sympathetic in any sense of the word. By the way, Kern was reprimanded, and would have probably been reclassified if it hadn’t been for the disgrace it would have brought upon the thing he is commissioned in.

I’m so thankful to God to know that Mr. Paul is looking so well again. It means so much to have such very fine Christian friends as they are. It is a sure thing God still must have work for him to do having brought him through such a siege as he has gone through.

Dear, don’t you ever worry about me staying in the Army. The sooner I can get out the better, I’m going to do my best while in here, but the Army in no way whatsoever is attractive to me as a life work. I’m too much interested in young peoples work and teaching to ever want to stay in the Army. As for me, the pay of a full general would not even attract me. I would rather be with you in someplace where we can guide parents and mold the lives of young people in Christ Jesus. Be that in a little country church where we have to have a garden, chickens and a cow to supply our table or a large city church. It means so very much to have a companion and co-partner like you in Christ Jesus to look to the future and be ready to serve wherever He wants us to be.

Dear, the point system doesn’t apply to officers so my few do not make much difference. If all goes well, I may be seeing you within the next year sometime. At least I’m hoping to see you. Somehow or other I have a feeling I’m over the hump; or in other words, I feel like I’ve gone more than halfway in overseas service. The time until I start on my way back to you may seem long, but I’m going to do my best and not be too inpatient. Maybe that’s wishful thinking but I thought I would tell you how I feel inside.

Lover, I must close for now and may God richly bless you and the folks in all things.

I am forever just yours for all

The ages of the ages in Christ Jesus

Our Lord,

Willis

Colossians 3:3

2 thoughts on “June 13, 1945 (2)

  • John T Reed
    June 13, 2019, 3:55 am

    “I would rather be with you in someplace where we can guide parents and mold the lives of young people in Christ Jesus. Be that in a little country church where we have to have a garden, chickens and a cow to supply our table or a large city church. ” He and Sarah did just that, and ended up with a garden (not so much chickens and a cow) as well! 🙂

  • willisareed
    June 13, 2019, 7:48 am

    “I always try and read the scripture and Secret Place each day. I have done it under some very unusual conditions. Such as walking out to bring a wounded man back to the aid station. I sincerely believe we can do most anything if we really mean business and really want to. Christ is such a great helper.”
    Dad always had words of encouragement from the scripture. A good reminder for us.

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