Mary Macon Doubler/Reminisce ExtraDuring the spring of 1941, Army troops covered my home state of Tennessee. Because the terrain is very similar to Germany’s, the troops on maneuvers could train here for battle overseas.
The convoys that passed our home were a constant source of entertainment for our family. We sat on the front porch, watching as if it were a parade. GIs who wanted letters from home threw little folded notes containing their addresses out of the vehicles and into our yard.
Mary Macon Doubler/Reminisce ExtraI was in my early teens and liked writing letters and being a pen pal, so I gathered several of the notes. One GI in particular had a lovely, precise penmanship. Stationed at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, Pfc. Alvin F. Doubler was 18, an enlisted soldier from the farming area of north-central Illinois. For the next five years, our letters to each other continued while he served in Iceland, England and France, as well as the D-Day invasion.
After the war ended, Alvin spent time at home, then came to visit me in April 1946 to thank me for all the letters and packages I’d sent. Although pen pals for years, we had never met in person. Once we met, it didn’t take long for us to realize that we wanted to be together forever. (Besides being in love, here’s what else your handwriting says about you.)
Alvin moved to Tennessee and we married in May 1947. We became the proud parents of seven wonderful children. Alvin and I had 59 wonderful years together until he died suddenly in 2006.
I saved all the letters Alvin wrote me through those long years overseas. Incredibly, through all of his many travels, he saved my letters, too. Our daughter has them all in safekeeping.
And that original slip of paper that included the name and mailing address thrown by a lonely GI many years ago—we even saved that.