Happy Veterans Day 2012

edsel 1943

My father, Edsel V. Colvin in 1943

This is more of a personal post than usual, but there is a connection to Room 24 in it.

When we get back to school on Tuesday, we will spend a few minutes talking about why Veterans Day is celebrated. I will tell a little about my father, Edsel Colvin, who served as a foot soldier in France, Germany, and Austria near the end of World War II. I will bring in some artifacts from the war, including a shadow box showing some of the certificates and badges he garnered as a Private First Class (Pfc.) and some of the letters he wrote to his dad during his time away from home.

My dad had a very close relationship with his father and wrote constantly to keep him informed. The underlying message in all the letters was love for his father and telling him not to worry, even though my dad was on the front lines during the stage of the war that led up to the Battle of the Bulge in November and December of 1944.

19441114 letter

Dad’s first letter home after seeing combat in the Vosges Mountains of France. Most of his other letters are several pages long. This one was short and to the point for a reason.– Nov. 14, 1944

The letters came to my attention about ten years ago. They were in a large shoebox at my parents’ home in Gold Beach, Oregon and hadn’t seen the light of day for years. I thought that was wrong and proceeded to start typing them into my computer and sending them back to Dad via email for comments. Because his original letters were censored by the Army (“Loose lips sink ships” was the motto of that time period), Dad clarified confusing or missing bits and pieces of information for me in his emails back to me. I learned more about my father’s wartime experiences in that one year of correspondence than all of the previous 50 years combined.

Box of Letters

The Box of Letters

Three hundred letters later, with carpal tunnel syndrome creeping up on me, we had the seeds of a book, so we decided to self publish it under the title Got to Go Now (look closely at the letter above for a clue on where we got the title).

covergot2gonow

Cover of Got to Go Now

Thank you to all veterans who have served and sacrificed to protect our country.

Lea and Edsel Colvin Oct. 14, 2012

P.S. After living their entire lives in Gold Beach (except for the war and college), Mom and Dad moved to Madras, Oregon this summer to be closer to family.

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About Mr. Colvin

I'm a retired elementary teacher (classroom and music) who taught at Lewis and Woodmere elementary schools in SE Portland. I like to teach, play guitar, take photos, and ride my bike.
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One Response to Happy Veterans Day 2012

  1. What a beautiful post. I am so glad that you will be sharing this with your students… Nice work Paul…

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