12 March 1945
Sarah, My Beloved Darling:
This has really been a lulu of a day. Since early this morning I have been on the go. I didn’t have much sleep last night. And besides that, the wind was really bad and the dirt really made everything a mess. It was really hard getting everything ready this morning, for there was a constant stream of men coming to bid me goodbye. For some reason or other the men were unusually kind in things they said. I don’t care to mention it in letters because it may sound egotistical. One soldier came to me this morning with tears in his eyes and said he wanted to let me know he thought I was a good chaplain. And to prove what he meant he gave me a beautiful Eversharp fountain pen. Dear, I shall never forget these men. It is certainly grand to be a Christian.
It was all I could do to get everything ready by noon. Chaplain Wells had dinner with our outfit. And Dear, you know what? The officers had gone to town, bought beef steak, mushrooms, olives, pickles, celery and lettuce. The mess Sgt. made a good cake and on such short notice as I had they gave such a dinner. Some of the things the different officers said to me brought tears to my eyes. I was so choked up that I can hardly respond after their testimonials. And before we ate our dinner Captain Mason led us in a prayer of thanks. Dear, that is one of the finest tributes to Christ I have ever known. As you know, it is nothing in me, it is only what Christ has done in and through me. It only proves to me more than ever men want Christ, as was proven by the marvelous response in nine short weeks with those men. Dear, you know how I feel and each day only makes me more than ever convinced that Christ is the only hope we have. Dear, you will also be interested to know that I received a rating of superior. I wish I had the time and space to tell you about those men. The Catholic men of the regiment got together and picked one of their first sergeants to extended to me a note of thanks because of all I did for men, regardless of their faith or background. It was hard to say goodbye but I feel that the Lord has a reason for me to go forward. Wherever I go, under whatever conditions, I intend on standing by the unsearchable riches of God’s word. God has been so good to us, hasn’t he Dear? I only wish I could talk to you for there are so many things on my heart.
I sent some more pictures home to you, I do hope they arrive okay. I also sent home a box of more clothes and miscellaneous things. That is, Tommy and Don helped me pack it and Don mailed it for me. I hope it arrives okay. When you fly, you are limited to such a great extent that I had to get rid of more things. Other chaplain equipment will follow me by ship. We took Chaplain Wells and my things down to the dock. And later Lieut. Arxton and Don, (my assistant), brought me to the airport. It was certainly hard to say goodbye to Don. He couldn’t talk, just shed tears and walked away. He is the finest assistant I have ever had and I know I’ll go a long time before I find another like him. His kind are very very few and far between. I shall long remember him. I’m only sorry that he has to stay in a regiment under such a poor chaplain as the other one. Dear, I have known most every kind of a man but he is the poorest I have ever known. Such a stumbling block to the cause of Christ. He made things absolutely miserable for me because of jealousy over the response of the men. A little rank in the Army makes fools out of a lot of men. Some men grow with responsibility, others just swell.
Just before leaving, the mail orderly brought me two letters, they were your letter of March 5th and a very nice letter from Betty Weiskoph. As soon as I answer the letter I’ll send it on to you. Dear, your letter was beautiful and I cannot fully describe the joy which was mine after reading your sweet letter. Your life and love are a constant source of joy and inspiration to me. By the way, one of the men, ”Freddy Romer,” gave me his picture. I’ll mail them on to you. He was one of our old faithfuls.
By the way Dear, address all my mail as follows, until I notify you otherwise. Chaplain Willis A. Reed 0-529294, XXIV (24th) Corps. APO 235 c/o Postmaster, San Francisco, California. You don’t have to write 24th out, just XXIV Corps. As soon as I know any further change of address, I’ll let you know. At least your letters can be on their way to me. I will close for tonight because it’s late and I’m tired. We have a long flight ahead. God bless you Beloved in all things. Give the folks my love.
Yours alone, because we are forever one
In the love of Christ,