After seeing a feature segment on the CBS Morning Show I connected with Shelley Brown, editor of Dear Selma: A World War II Love Letter Romance which is authored by her father and WWII veteran. I was intrigued by the similar experiences she and I have had in discovering letters from so long ago that provide a rare connection with our parents’ younger selves. We enjoyed exchanging stories so much that I invited her to share her book here. I hope you will be equally inspired by the fortitude of young love developing over thousands of miles during wartime. – Kathleen A. Cavazzi
I always knew my parents fell in love over the letters they exchanged while my father was in the army during World War II but I didn’t realize the details of their enduring long-distance relationship until I sat down and read each one. When my mother passed away in 2017 my siblings and I helped my dad move out of our family home in Salem, Oregon. It was then that we started reading the letters and realized what a treasure we had. As the Americans took Germany, my father was on the front lines fighting from fox holes. It’s chilling to think that each letter could have been his last. I want to believe that these letters gave my dad the drive and determination to get through the war and back to the woman he had known most of his life and was now falling in love with. I hope you enjoy the heartfelt expressions of a young man (really a boy), homesick but also determined to fulfill his duty. We dedicate this book to all those who didn’t make it back. – Shelley Brown
They fell in love through their letters. Writing daily to his childhood friend Selma, from Army college in Oklahoma, Boot Camps in Georgia and Texas and the WWII front lines in France and Germany, a teenage Bernard’s letters chronicled the young infantryman’s experience during WWII. Through daily letters home to Selma, the reader will watch their young love flourish amidst the background of Bernard’s war experiences. Between 1941 and 1945, a total of 246 handwritten letters to Selma were lovingly saved. “Fate is on our side” is a recurring theme in his letters, as Bernard never faltered in his belief that he would be coming home safely to Selma’s arms.
Proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House at the Rood Family Pavilion in Portland, Oregon.