Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Letters Home From An Aleutian Soldier

Shorty& Alice

In the midst of my research about the war I delightfully came across this fascinating blog worth taking a look at.  The granddaughter of Raymond Jones "Shorty" Gowen of the 30th Coastal Artillery in the Aleutian Islands, 1942-45, shares the personal letters written by a love bitten and homesick soldier, her grandfather, to a patiently waiting Texas country girl, Alice-her grandmother.  The eloquently written letters give you a first hand account at what life was like while stationed in the Aleutian Islands in WW2.   Loneliness and despair countered with resilience of spirit and patience were feelings that many of the soldiers shared deep down inside, even if they were not expressed outwardly.

His writings left me to wonder why men were not like that in this day in age? Or is it just that war time made men more sentimental, the loneliness and fear of never knowing when and if you will return to your loved ones. That eloquence and innocence is missing from today's generation.  I found this blog to be refreshing and it left me wanting to read more. 

R-L Baby Jillian, Veteran Shorty &
 Jillian's Father, 1980

Shorty Gowen was born June 29, 1918 in Alabama and years later the family moved to Sulpher Springs, Texas.  He joined the army in 1942 and served 3 dedicated years.  Like many, he never spoke of the war except to say it is where he learned to cook and sew.  It wasn't until after he passed in 2004 that these priceless letters were discovered.

Thank you Jillian for sharing such a wonderful and intimate part of your families history.

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