May 23, 1946

Seoul, Korea

23 May 1946

Sarah, My Beloved Darling Sweetheart:

It is almost time for the mail to be picked up, but I want to try and get a little bit of a letter off to you tonight. First of all, I want to tell you about receiving your good letters of May 12th and 13th. They were so very good I’ve only had the opportunity to read them through once, but as soon as I finish this letter and mail it I’m going to read them through again.

Where Willis worked in Korea.

  This has truly been another one of those days the like of which you cannot imagine and it would take far too long to go into detail about the whole day, so I’m only going to mention a few things. Evidently, Chaplain Jaegar did not notify Chaplain Martin about the fact that he has to be moved from this hospital for all things seem to indicate that fact. It will surely be good when we can get him out of here altogether, everyone is very much disgusted with him.

  The whole morning was interrupted by a number of things and then about 11 o’clock who is to come in but Chaplain North and Chaplain Riley. They stayed for dinner with me and of course, with Alrik being here we really had a lot of fun. Alrik just sat around in the office most of the morning while I went about to the various wards and then talked to another psycho patient we have here in the hospital. This afternoon, I did some more calling in the wards. Chaplain North and Riley left here about 1:30. At about 4:30 Chaplain Rendahl came to see Alrik, they are old schoolmates from seminary days in Minneapolis. They attended Bethel. Alrik had planned on staying all night with me again but behold Rendahl wanted him to stay with him tonight so that is what he decided to do. By the way, after supper this evening we played another ball game and won by a score of 7 to 2. I was pretty lucky at bat again tonight.

  Following the game, I came right up here to the hospital and took a shower, and by that time we had to go to our Bible class. There were only seven in attendance this evening but we did have a good discussion. Alrik and Chaplain Rendahl had to leave before Bible class because he had to be back to some kind of meeting.

  Darling, I enjoyed reading over the bulletin for the services at Second and Ravenswood.  From what you said in your letter, Dr. Moor must have been very good. Don’t you remember that his daughter was the one who gave that very fine devotional at the meeting which we had that time at McNiel’s church in Rock Island, Illinois? I can still remember very well her splendid treatment of the verse in the text when Moses saw the burning bush. “ Take the shoes from off thy feet for the ground on which you stand is Holy Ground.”  By the way, I will return the bulletins in this letter.

  It is time for me to close and mail this letter if I want it to leave here tonight. God bless you Lover and all the folks in all things.

  Always and forever just yours in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

May 22, 1946

Seoul, Korea

22 May 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart;

Lover, this has been another one of those days when I have been on the go since very early this morning. There have been so many hectic things taking place that it has been distressing and it now seems very little has been accomplished. Right after breakfast this morning, who should walk in this morning but Alrik, it was surely wonderful to see him again. He came up with their hospital car and some patients. The hospital car is a specialized railroad car. I had to take care of a problem case, in fact he was the one which I told you about in last night’s letter. By the time that was taken care of it was time for me to leave here with Colonel and Lt. Col. to see Chaplain Jaegar about the problem Chaplain Martin has created here at the hospital. We were only in Jaegar’s office about 20 minutes and the two men told him the whole story and asked him to have him transferred out of this hospital as soon as possible. Chaplain Jaegar agreed that it was the best thing and said he would do it as soon as possible. Undoubtedly he will blow sky-high when he finds out but I didn’t do it, I’ve done all I could, but I know he will blame me for what has taken place. He is certainly a misfit if ever any man was.

Chaplain Reed, Blomquist and Robinson. Winter 1946

I didn’t have a lot of time before dinner, but I did take care of one man and by that time Alrik and I went over to have something to eat. On the way back to my office from dinner, another soldier stopped and that took some time. As soon as I got up here to the office Alrik and I had to leave for Seoul. He had a whole lot of confiscated money and other things which he had to deliver to the authorities who are now breaking up a large black market ring down in Fusan.  Unfortunately, a number of his men in the hospital are involved in it. Alrik didn’t know what was in the box either but nevertheless his commanding officer had to ask him to deliver the box to Corps Headquarters. And we had to count every bit of the money and other items and then witness every item. It was almost 5 o’clock by the time we were able to leave there. We arrived back here just in time to have our evening meal.

  I studied for a while on my message for this evening after the evening meal, but I didn’t have all the time I would have liked to have had. I spoke on this theme from the 53rd Psalm, the main theme found in the 5th verse. The title of my message was, “What’s Troubling You?”  There were only fourteen in attendance. We had choir practice.

  It is rather late now and I must close and go to bed. There were two wonderful letters from you today and they were from May 10th and 11th. They were very good and helped me no end. I got two other letters. They were from Connie and my cousin Howard Reed. Good night Lover, and may God bless you in all things.

Yours alone in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

May 21, 1946

Seoul, Korea

21 May 1946

Sarah, My Wonderful Christian Wife,

As I said last evening, I doubted if we would receive any mail today and sure enough none came in. But I’m hoping that there will be mail for us tomorrow. Your letters are to me what the sunshine is on any form of plant life. Beloved, it is going to be so very good to be able to talk to you in person and discuss things as we used to do. I don’t have much time, but I do want to finish this letter before time for our Bible class this evening. I came right back over here to the office for my evening meal and hoped to write this letter to you immediately, but there was a soldier who wanted to see me about a problem. I could tell that he was terribly troubled and upset, and I tell you, my heart certainly went out to him. He has been overseas since last August and he has just received a letter from his wife informing him that she is pregnant, about three months along. Lover, words cannot ever inform you just how much it does mean to have a wife and sweetheart who is always loyal no matter what may happen. I’ll tell you more when we are together. Since being in the service, I really had some very unusual cases to handle and it has helped me to see and understand a lot of things I never knew before. It is also crystallized a great deal of my thinking into things which I feel are necessary for us as servants of the Lord to strive for as we were together in our next Church.

Willis (second from right) with friends. 1946. Korea.

  After my unusual routine this morning, I tried to do a little more reading in the book entitled PRAYER by Dr. Buttrick. It is really a fine book and I do enjoy reading it very much. I hadn’t finished the chapter I was reading until the hospital executive officer came up to see me about all the trouble Chaplain Martin has caused since his arrival here at the hospital. He asked me to call Chaplain Jaegar for he said we would have to do something about the situation. Finally, I was able to get a hold of Chaplain Jaegar by phone and made arrangements for an appointment with him tomorrow morning. This whole thing just makes me sick, it is too difficult and involved to try and write about in a letter so I will have to wait until I return to the States. Of course, it will be all over before this letter ever reaches you, but just the same I do wish you would remember the whole situation in prayer. It is the worst situation I’ve ever had to handle. Honest, I just cannot figure out such a man. He has done more to tear things to pieces here at the hospital in one month than you can ever imagine. Poor Dwight, his assistant, came over to my office to talk to me about the whole thing. Chaplain Martin has decided to go walking into the mountains so Dwight took the opportunity to come over here and pour his heart out to me. It is about all Dwight can do to stand him and said unless he is removed from the hospital he wants to be transferred out of his office for he can hardly stand him around. Darling, that is about all for now but I’ve been so completely crushed and hurt the last 2 weeks or so that I don’t know what to think. It is a pity that such a man should be allowed to wear crosses which are supposed to be distinctive of a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  This afternoon most of my time was consumed calling in the wards and then I was called in on another psycho case. Some of these poor young fellows condition is enough to make you want to cry. How a man can become so mixed up and so involved is hard to understand at times. But all these experiences only make me more grateful than ever for the great truth and strength we find in His precious word.

  As far as the weather was concerned, this was a gloriously beautiful day. But it would have been much better if we could have been together. Please God, I hope that day isn’t too far away now. Another day has slipped by and I know no more than I have for some time now. If I could find out something it would help I’m sure. I’m praying and hoping that it won’t be too much longer, but our Lord knows best.

  What you said in your letter, that must have been a splendid message Dr. Anderson gave on Good Friday at Fourth Pres.  I have always enjoyed hearing him speak, and I know from the text which he used that he must have given a fine message. I have never heard Dr. Kerr, but I have read several of his articles at various times and I know they must have been good, it is I mean his services at the church during that week preceding Easter.

  Beloved, it is almost time for Bible class so I’ll bring this letter to a close and drop it in the mailbox. God bless you and the folks in all things.

 Yours only and always in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

May 20, 1946

Seoul, Korea

20 May 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

Well, one more day of our long separation has slipped by and I am certainly glad for that fact, I wish I knew just when I might be able to get away from here, but I will just have to continue living in expectancy. This uncertainty is indeed trying and it would make it much easier to know when I would be leaving here and then that way we might be able to make some plans. Even though Alrik and I will be eligible as of June 1st, that doesn’t mean that we are going to be able to leave then. The shipping question has been quite uncertain the last six weeks or two months and it looks like it is going to continue to be that way. What Colonel Miller told you was true when he left here, but it certainly isn’t now. Right now it looks like I’ll be very lucky if I arrive home by the 1st of August, so don’t count on me too heavily to help with Bible School. However, remember that I’ll send you a cable as soon as I know when I’ll be leaving for sure. And then after that, you can count on it being about a month before I’ll be able to reach Chicago.

As usual, I was up early and it was certainly a beautiful morning although it was quite cool. There are many different birds and it is so pretty to hear them sing when everything is so quiet at the beginning of a new day. After having my breakfast I came up to the office and did some studying and had my devotions. I wasn’t able to do all the studying I had hoped to do because I was interrupted by a psycho case that they called me in on. That naturally took a long time and before I was through with that case another one came up for me to handle. Just before dinner, Captain Howard Haynes of Towanda, Illinois called up and said that he would be able to come out and have dinner with me this evening.

Willis’ friend – Arnold Hodak.

  Following the dinner hour, I came back up here to the office and did a little more studying and then decided to go out and call in some more of the wards. I also had to see another one of the psycho patients. Just before 3 o’clock I decided to go down to the barbershop and wait for a chance to have my hair cut. It was about 10 after 4 before I was able to have my turn, so you can see there is very little time before the supper hour. I called in a couple of wards and then waited for Howard in the lobby of the hospital. He brought a friend along with him from Chicago, his name was Major Lasker (Jewish) and he surely seemed like a fine man. We visited until almost 7 o’clock and we would probably have visited longer but Howard is expecting to receive his order tomorrow or the next day to return to the States and he had a lot of packing to do and had to get back. Around 3 o’clock this afternoon Hodak came back to visit with Dennis and Dwight and some other friends. So we cancelled the Bible class for this evening and they are going to drive Hodak back to the Korean Disposition Center.

  All in all, this is been a very pretty day, although it hasn’t been very warm for the last 2 weeks. Things are really beautiful in Korea now. I wish you could see how the people here in Korea utilize every bit of available land to produce food of some kind. Their potatoes are really showing up very well now. They also grow something which looks like a Swiss chard in the States. In fact, they grow all kinds of it. It seems to be their main source of greens. Most of the farmers have the rice paddies all ready for planting their rice crop.

  As I had expected, there wasn’t any mail today and I rather doubt if we will have any tomorrow. Even with this better service it takes between 8 and 10 days for your letters to reach me. Not that I complain about that because all things considered, I think that is very good service. But, it is always a brighter and happy day when I hear from you. You are such a wonderful sweetheart and wife in every possible way. You id tow tweet and I wuve you tow vry much so dere and I taid it first and wast.

I was sorry to hear that Mr. Howell has been ill, I do hope that he is much better by the time this letter reaches you. That was certainly nice of them to invite you to the Four Square Banquet. I only wish I could be there with you, Beloved.

  You must have been very glad to see Lloyd’s again and I was surprised to hear that Earl and Helen are expecting, and I am glad for them. I’ll be glad when we can be expecting together for that blessed event in our own home.

  Darling, it was so good to hear about the chorus choir they have now at Northern. From what you said in your letter the selections wish they sang in Chapel must have been very good. I got ta kick out of your description of what Dr. Stiansen said, for it sounded just like him. He is one man I respect and love very dearly in the Lord. 

  I can imagine just how put out you must have been with the way they drug the service along at North Shore. Honestly, I believe a business meeting can be very interesting if people would just put something into the service. I’m sure the program you arranged for them worked out all right and I’m sure it must have been very helpful to all who attended.

  Well, Dear, I have just had three men leave here and they were here talking for over half an hour. There is very little time before the deadline on getting this letter in the box, so I had better close for now. God bless you, Beloved in all things. Be sure to give the folks my deepest love.

 Yours only and always because we are His,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

 P.S. Enclosed is a clipping about President Hoover. It also appeared in the “Corps Graphic”. On back is a picture of Chaplain Jaegar.

May 19, 1946

Seoul, Korea

19 May 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart

It was certainly wonderful to have two more of your letters today. They were yours of May 8th and 9th. I’ve just finished reading them the third time and they are better than ever, but Lover, to be with you again is going to be the most wonderful thing I can imagine. There were several other letters also, they were from Harold and Buena Zude, Dolores, Louise Davis, Joe Travers, Audrey, and two other letters concerning men who have been patients in our hospital.

  I was up very early this morning and came over here to the office to meditate and go over my sermon several times. There were many things on my heart and I really wanted to make the sermon count this morning. After having had my breakfast, I called in on some of the wards before time for my service at 10 o’clock. There were around 100 in the service this morning. And Beloved, I really felt the power and the presence of the Lord during the service. Thank you for your prayer and I know it helped to ungird me as I sought to be used as His messenger. A number of individuals have told me how helpful the message was to them. I will not go into detail concerning the message. You will remember the title and theme of the message from the bulletin which I enclosed in last night’s letter to you.

  Following the service, a number of the men came up here to my office for a visit and talk over things concerning the service. By that time, dinner was ready so I hastened over there and had a good time with Lt. Eady and several others who ate at our table. Following the dinner, I came back up here to the office and visited until time for our ballgame at 3 o’clock. We lost this afternoon by a score of 7 to 4. We should have never lost the game, but some of our men made some very costly errors and as a result, the opposing team scored four unearned runs. In three times at bat, I only got one hit. However, during the game, even though we lost I managed to strike out several men. I truly hope that I will soon be leaving, I will miss the team but the sooner I leave here the better I will feel.

Danny Kaye entertaining troops at the USO.

  After the game, I had just enough time to take a shower before supper and while over at the evening meal, Captain Knight and Lt. Eady nailed me and told me in that I wasn’t taking care of the evening service this evening that I should go with them into Seoul and attend the USO show at the XXIV theatre.  I didn’t think I ought to go because Chaplain Martin may get some funny ideas. However, they insisted, and finally, at last, I told them that I honestly I didn’t care to attend his service. I went with them and now I’m really glad I did for it was very good and really worthwhile. First, they had a very good man playing an accordion, they also had a good tap dancer, a very good juggler and acrobat, a ventriloquist, the famous Champion ping pong player from Chicago and the Pacific coast champ and the King Sisters. The thing I like most about the show was the fact that it was kept clean throughout and all of it was very good entertainment. That was the first time I had ever been in the theater since my arrival here in Korea and I landed with the first troops to come ashore. Captain Knight and Lt. Eady informed me that it was about time I took a break and took it little easier. They said I ought to coast the rest of the way out, that is of my service over here in Korea.

  Well, I talked to Dennis about the service which Chaplain Martin had this evening and from what he told me, it was his usual type. No more shall be said for now. By the way Darling, I’m sorry this letter is late for the 9 o’clock pick up but I think you will understand.

  It was really a beautiful day today, you would have enjoyed it very much and it would be very good to have been together. I know it must be nice back in Chicago around this time of year. Perhaps we will be able to have some nice walks together in the not-too-distant future. That will be such a good privilege.

  Darling, the talk with Mr. Kraft gave concerning young children sounded very interesting, and from what you said in your letter, I’m sure it must have been very helpful and inspiring to all those who were there. Well Beloved, it is so late and I’m so tired that I must close for tonight. God bless you richly in all things, Dear.

 Yours forever and always in Christ’s eternal love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

May 18, 1946

Seoul, Korea

18 May 1946

Sarah, My Beloved Darling Sweetheart:

  Well, Dear, I was very grateful and thankful to receive your good letter of May 7th, nothing helps me like your good letters. I’ve just finished reading your letter again. I also received a letter from Connie and one from Chaplain Hedberg informing me that he had just written to his church ( First Park Baptist of Plainfield, New Jersey) recommending us to the pulpit committee. They have been without a pastor now for about four or five months and undoubtedly they have a man by now, anyhow it was very kind of him to take the time to write to them. From what he told me, it calls for a pastor, an assistant, and director of Religious Education. Frankly, the way I feel now I don’t believe I would care to be an assistant unless the Lord led specifically in that direction. You may receive a letter from them but I rather doubt it. If you do, be sure to open it and read it and see what they have to say.

  This has been an upset day from the very beginning and with the responsibility of speaking this evening at the Youth for Christ meeting, I have the rest of the afternoon and evening ruined, so that is the reason I’m writing this letter to you now. We have to go in rather early because we have a quartet from the hospital who are going to sing two special numbers and they want to be there early enough to practice before the service begins.

A group of army nurses in the South Pacific. 1945.

  A portion of my time was consumed this morning in talking to the chief nurse here at the hospital. Late yesterday afternoon she told me that she would like to talk to me about something as soon as possible. She was quite upset with the way Chaplain Martin has been acting and all the trouble he has caused since his arrival here at the hospital. From what she told me, a number of the nurses have been in to complain to her about Chaplain Martin. I’ve never been on such a spot since I’ve been in the Army, I really don’t know what to do about the situation. A number have told me they feel he ought to be transferred out of here as soon as possible because it is a sure thing he has cooked his goose around here. A good many have informed me outright that as long as he ever has a service they will never attend. Please pray about this trying situation, I certainly need help and wisdom outside of myself for a proper decision.

  Following the dinner hour, I did manage to do a little more reading, but there were several phone calls and then a fellow came in to see me about some trouble he has back home, and naturally, that took quite a while. After that, I went around to the wards to do some visiting, and now as you can see, Lover, I’m writing to you and loving you a whole lot more. Thank you for the pictures which you enclosed in your letter this time. They were very good, but I am longing to see the real thing and be with you always. Chaplain Jaeger was just here to visit the hospital and it is very late so I must close for now. God bless you Darling in all things.

 Always and forever just yours

 because we are one in Him,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

 P.S. Enclosed find a copy of tomorrow’s order of worship.

May 17, 1946

Seoul, Korea

17 May 1946

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Well, here it is twenty minutes to eight and I must hurry and write this letter and mail it off before 9 o’clock, forgoing any interruptions I should be able to do it with ease. Dennis, Dwight, Paul Pearson, Huckins and Jeanette decided to go into a Youth for Christ social hour they were having this evening.  So I told them we would skip the Bible class this evening and I would use the time to study and write a letter to Don McClintock. I finished his letter just before I started this one to you, Dear. And as I had thought, there wasn’t any mail today. I hardly expected any today because of the late mail which we received yesterday and considering the very poor whether we had today I’m inclined to believe that we probably won’t receive any tomorrow either. I miss your precious letters so very much, Dear.

Willis, Dennis and Dwight. 1946.

I was unable to accomplish very much this morning because of a number of things which came up to throw everything out of gear. More complaints came in to me concerning Chaplain Martin. He is certainly a troublemaker if I ever saw one. I don’t for the life of me know how he could ever have been ordained. He is one of those subtle egotists which cannot be trusted further than you can throw a grand piano with one hand. In one short month here at the hospital he has done nothing but cause trouble. As an example of his attitude concerning himself, he has only attended a few of the Bible classes and you know what he told Dwight as a reason for not attending regularly? “ I’ve studied all that before and that is only elementary and I only like to drop in to visit now and then to hear your discussions.”  I realize of course that there is much to be desired when it comes to my teaching, but if his sermons are an example of his superior knowledge, I don’t want a bit of it. There is this one bit which may throw a little bit of light on the subject of his failure to attend. He can always be found in the movie when not in attendance at a Bible class. In fact, several have asked me why he doesn’t attend the classes. Frankly, we always have a better class when he doesn’t come and when he is there, invariably because he will bring up some experience he has had or some quotation which is not at all related to our trend of discussion or study. Please forgive me if this appears critical, but I’ve seen so many sad sack chaplains who are nothing but stumbling blocks that I cannot help but be hurt. I certainly pray that these experiences I’ve had with some will teach me a lesson which I’ll never forget. Lover, I always want you to show me and tell me wherein I’m weak because I do want to be a husband and servant of the Lord whom you can justly be proud in Christ’s name.

  About eleven o’clock Chaplain North called me from Seoul and told me that he would be out here around noon so I invited him to have dinner with me. Thank the Lord for chaplains who have something on the ball. He is doing a good job in a very hard place. As per usual, he is being pushed around and given a raw break. We visited until about 1 o’clock and then he left to call on his men. Chaplain Godfrey also came by this afternoon. He talked to me for about half an hour. 

After Chaplain Godfrey left, I worked on my sermon for tomorrow evening at the Youth for Christ meeting. I rewrote the sermon three times before I was satisfied. I now have the outline down like I want it. My text is Acts 16:1-12, key verse 10 and the title and theme of my message is, “What’s Your Answer?”  Note in the American translation it says after the vision, WE MADE EFFORTS, in other words, to serve Christ we have to go beyond just vision to EFFORT.

  By the way Darling, this morning I happened to be looking through one of the issues of the New Yorker magazine and found a cartoon which really gave me a good laugh. I cut it out and am sending it to you, for I think you will receive a laugh out of it as I did. I remember how some of the women used to do when I worked in the A&P store where I worked shortly after coming to Chicago in 1934.

Alrik called me this afternoon around 4 o’clock and we talked for a few minutes and we are both pretty blue about the prospects for our departure from Korea. It looks like the atomic bomb testing is going to throw everything out of gear as far as getting out of Korea is concerned. It just seems like I can never receive a break in this man’s Army. It will certainly be a privilege to get out of it I know that.

  Be sure to let me know how things turn out at the Northern Baptist Convention, Dear. I would so like to be there this year but it seems everything I’ve hoped for this year has been not granted. Darling, this being separated from you is about getting me. So many times my heart feels just like it has been wrung. You have always been such a tonic for me. Without you, life is in no sense of the word is complete. If I could only mean half that much to you, I would be happy.

  Darling, I’m glad that you like your new suit and in the pictures which I received yesterday, I can see that it fits you very well. Remember, whenever you need things be sure to purchase them for as long as I possibly can I want to see that every one of your needs are supplied.

Well, Beloved, I must close for tonight. Be sure to give the folks my love and best wishes. God bless you, my dear.

 I love just you and I’m Yours

 for always in Christ’s love,

  Willis

 Colossians 3:3

May 16, 1946

Seoul, Korea

16 May 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

I’ve just finished my evening meal and I want to get this letter written and in the box before time for Bible class if at all possible. This has been a banner of a day as far as mail is concerned, for I received four wonderful letters from you Beloved, and they were yours of May 3, 4, 5, and 6. I read them over twice already and they have certainly meant a lot to me as do every one of your letters. I also received your graduation announcement along with your new name card, and Beloved, after looking at the announcement my heart came right up to my throat and it seems I haven’t yet been able to swallow it. Honestly, this evening it was hard for me to eat my supper. I suppose that sounds sissy-like, but if it is it is because I love you so very much that it hurts me beyond description to be separated from you like this. I had always secretly hoped that I would be there to see you receive your degree, but the Lord has had other plans and even though it hurts me, I’m going to do my very best to abide by that which is taking place. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t know that you were praying with me about this whole thing. Darling, words in no way whatsoever can describe what it means to have a blessed Christian wife like you are to me. Thank you, Beloved, for being such a good wife to me.

  And then I received four other letters, they were from the following people:  Diane McClintock, John Mueller, my cousin Beverly Reed and a short note and announcement from Gail Hollensteiner for her graduation. She is supposed to graduate on the 12th of June. That makes me think, Dear, if you can find the time, I think it would be nice if you could find some nice appropriate graduation gift and send it to her from us. She is such a fine girl and the Hollys have been so very good to me and I love them so very much and I know you will too when you meet them. And perhaps that can be after I return to you, we shall leave it in the Lord’s hands for what He wants us to do.

  This has certainly been a rounder of a day to say the least. Really, you get so tired and weary from being interrupted so much that you can hardly stand it. I tried to read another chapter in the book entitled, PRAYER, but every time I tried to do so, I was interrupted. There were only 15 pages and I still have 5 more to go. This business of reading in snatches isn’t so good. It makes it additionally trying when some of them come into the office with such petty little grapes. Honestly, it seems they can never find anything to be thankful for, just complain and cry. This morning I was called in on another psycho case, and that took quite a long time. Immediately following the dinner hour, I had just started to read a little more in the book on prayer when in walked Hodak, he missed the last ship and now has to wait for the next one so he came out here to the hospital. It so happens that I sent Dennis into Seoul with a written message to be delivered to Captain Howard Haynes, after that they were going to drive over to see Hodak, but now he came out here missing them. Jeanette went along with them because she had half a day off. They haven’t returned as yet, I surely hope they didn’t have some trouble.

  I was certainly happy to hear about John Stek calling you, but I was sorry to know you didn’t have an opportunity to talk to him yourself. He is one of the finest young men I have ever met since being in the Army. He was an old friend and faithful member of the old 31st Infantry when I was there. He used to drop out to see me here at the hospital after my assignment out here.

  It warmed up today, but for some reason or other, it is still quite cool in the evenings. In fact in the morning, it is generally very cool. I really love to hear all the birds singing when I arise early in the morning. Some of them have lovely voices.

  Three different chaplains were here calling on patients today and I know all of them so that took quite some time. They were Chaplain Wells, Harris, and Edwards. And they are all Baptists. Naturally, we talked over a number of things which are matters of great concern with all of us. Our overall attitude among the soldiers is not good and we are not fooling the Koreans either. They can distinguish drunkenness and lose living in Americans as well as in Koreans. By the way, Don enclosed a clipping in his letter about the Northern Baptist Convention which I am going to send on to you because I feel that you would be interested in reading it. I don’t know where the article came from but it will be of interest I’m sure. I do so hope that everything works out in a way that will be to the glory and honor of Christ and the strengthening of our work in the denomination. Having been separated from the whole situation this way, I don’t know what to think and it is very hard to draw any definite conclusions.

Reed family reunion 1956. Willis with his father Earl, his children (from left to right) John, Daniel, Martha, Mark and his “Dearest Darling Sweetheart,” Sarah.

I was certainly surprised to hear about the Baers selling their home again. As you said, they are always on the move it seems. I’m glad to know that you received such a very nice letter from Betty Weiskopf. I owe her a letter and must get it off to her as soon as possible. From what you said in your letter, your first meeting of the Vacation Bible School teachers sounded very interesting. I do hope that they have a good school this year. Darling, with the uncertainty of shipping and the forthcoming atomic bomb test, I don’t know whether I’ll be able to arrive back there in time to help with the school, but if I do, you can be sure that I’ll do all in my power to help in any way that I can.

  Darling, it even makes me feel badly even though I’m halfway around the world from Bob to know that he isn’t trying very hard to find himself a job. I don’t like to say anything in a letter because it may be misunderstood and I certainly don’t want you to take something wrong and then feel hurt with me. However, I cannot understand how he can constantly putter around with that car hours on end and then not get out and find a job. I was certainly greatly surprised to find in your letter of May 6th that Margie’s folks don’t know he is out of work and that Bob is afraid they will find out about it. I’m willing to pray for him, but after all, he has to do something about it also. I don’t blame Margie for feeling badly. With the forthcoming addition of responsibility, you would think that he would be doing all he could to make it easier for Margie and give her a sense of security and accomplishment as they look forward to that glad day when they can be crowned with that highest and most revered of privileges, the privilege of parenthood. I so hope that we will be granted that blessed privilege and soon. You will be such a good mother I know and I’ll assure you now that I’ll do all I know to be a good and kind father, and if I need guidance and help I’m sure that I can count on the Lord and you to help me. What I feel about you in my heart Beloved, when it comes to thought in this realm is beyond the possibility of description with the mere words which fall from the lips of me. All I can say is, “thank you,”  for saying yes and being my counterpart forever in Christ. I must close Lover, God bless you in all things.

 Forever yours only because we

 are forever each others in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

May 15, 1946

Seoul, Korea

15 May 1946

Dearest Darling Sweetheart:

Well, Beloved, it is almost time for them to pick up the mail so I’m afraid this letter isn’t going to be very long, but I do want you to know that I do love you much more than ever. I had hoped that we would have some mail today, but not one bit came in for any of us. In brief, I have been busy all day and apparently have accomplished very little.

Margie Price wearing the a kimona. The obi is the sash around the waist.

Early this morning, we had another evacuation that took time so after that, I left for the old 31st Infantry and mailed two packages over there. One of the packages was to Mrs. Simms who provided the public address system for me and the many other things she sent from time to time. I sent her two matching brass vases which I thought she might like to have in her home. I sent them as a gift of appreciation for all she has done for me in my work as a chaplain. I’m sure you will think that is all right. And then the other box was things which I’m sure will be helpful for us in missionary work. The contents of the box is as follows so be on the watch for it. (1) Two kimonos, (black), a piece of parachute silk (from which you ought to be able to make several slips and underclothing),  two chaplain scarves, one pair of Japanese soldiers mittens, three pairs of shoes, six fans, one wooden spoon, two Ivory chopsticks, four obis, one piece of silk (from which you might be able to make yourself a blouse), one headscarf and incense. Be sure to be on the watch for the arrival of that box.

  This afternoon I wasn’t able to accomplish too much because of so many interruptions. After the evening meal, we had another ball game and I pitched again and we won by a score of 3 to 2. And Beloved, I was at bat twice and got one double and another home run. My home run tied and won the game for us. Again, quite lucky and of course they cheered me a lot. I like to play my best but for some reason, I’ve actually been having wonderful luck in playing ball.

  I had just enough time to take a shower and get to Chaplain Martin’s midweek service. He had 10 in attendance and preached, well I don’t know what I guess he hit it. And after that, we had choir practice. So you can see I have had very little time and with another interruption just over, I must close now if I’m going to get this in the box in time. God bless you and the folks in all things. I’ll try to write you a much better letter tomorrow evening.

 Forever and always just yours in Christ’s love,

 Willis

 Colossians 3:3

May 14, 1946

Seoul, Korea

14 May 1946

Sarah, My Beloved Darling:

Well, I was very grateful and thankful to receive another one of your precious letters today, it was yours of May 2nd. I’ve already read it over several times and I find it so good to read again and again. It is hard to imagine or realize just how good it is going to be to talk to you face-to-face as we used to do. Your letter was the only mail which I received so that is alright with me because your letters are the ones which really count.

  I was up early this morning and then we had another large evacuation for the States, there were also 14 nurses which left this morning. That really cuts down our number of nurses and with all the extra patients in here it is really keeping them busy. It was quite late by the time we got the last of the patients out of here. When I came back up to my office I decided I would try and read some more in the book entitled PRAYER, but I had only managed to read a little went Dwight and Dennis came to me with a problem which they had been discussing. It started last evening in our Bible class. We certainly had a real session last evening, but I will not be able to go into detail because it would take too long. I like to throw out questions like that and get the fellows to think for themselves, for I do believe that one of the greatest weaknesses among Christians is the fact that they have never thought things out for themselves but have merely accepted things because someone else has said so, and as a result they are not soul winners or workers for the Lord because they are not sure of themselves as to what they believe. In other words, they are afraid if they venture out, they may not be able to work their way back to the position which they came to believe or defend.

Willis’ friend, Jeanette Mason. 1946.

  This has been a perfectly delightful day, it was cloudy and looked like it might rain until about 9 o’clock, but it cleared and now there are only a few delightful large clouds drifting lazily through the sky. For about a week it has been rather cool, but it is much warmer tonight and I’m thankful for that, after all, we should be having much warmer weather now.

  I had just started reading some more after dinner when in walked Chaplain Lindsey. We visited for almost two hours, is good to know a chaplain who has something on the ball. He has been in the Army only a year and was informed day before yesterday that he would be unable to go home before another year, so he decided to bring his wife and little son over here to Korea. Even if he had to stay over here another whole year, he wouldn’t be separated from his wife as long as I’ve been away from you, Lover. But not under war conditions, I don’t blame him for wanting to have his wife over here with him.

  Chaplain Lindsay had only been gone about five minutes when Jeanette came up to see me about helping her write a little article for the Chosen Life concerning mothers. I gave her several ideas which she could develop, and I’m sure she will do all right. Jeanette really has ability but she lacks confidence in herself. I’m sure she will do all right in whatever she does if she can just develop a little more self-confidence. After all, it isn’t so easy when everyone (among most of the nurses) don’t care how they live or what they do.

  She brought me five different pictures which she has taken with her camera, so I’ll send them along for you to see. I’ve numbered them on the back and will describe each one to you separately. (1) Left to right – Don McClintock, Chaplain Earl Minor, yours, Mr. Lee (in charge of all Korean personnel who work here in the hospital). (2) Miss Chey, yours, Dr. Helen Kim, Chaplain Meyers, Miss Lee and Dennis. (This picture was taken on the steps of Dr. Helen Kim’s home on the campus of Ewha College for girls). (3) Miss Chey, Dr. Helen Kim and Miss Lee (remember she is the famous nurse here in Korean who attended the International Meeting of Nurses in London in 1936). (4) A picture which I snapped for Jeannette on her camera of a favorite past time of Korean girls especially around the time of their New Year season. (5) The Island Command Cemetery on Okinawa. Darling, I’m sure you will enjoy all of these pictures because they are so very nice and clear.

  Darling, I’m writing this letter before Bible class because I want to be sure to go out with the evening pick up. By the way, you wanted to know how many days terminal leave I will have coming when I come back to the States. As near as I can figure it, I now have 71 days and of course by the time I get back there I ought to have three or four more days. It will probably be around 75 days when I arrive back there. It will certainly be wonderful to be with you again, each passing day only makes it harder to be separated from you. Honestly, I don’t see how anyone could love someone like I love you and keep on being separated this way. I know I will be willing to go through a lot just for the blessed privilege of being with you.

 Lover, I’m glad that you received so many very nice birthday presents. I do so pray and hope that next year and ever after we will be together on your birthday and all the other days too. It is almost time for Bible class which means I must close. God bless you and the folks in all things. Forever just yours in Christ’s love.

 Yours only and always in Christ,

  Willis

 Colossians 3:3