Friday, August 5, 2011


The girls and I took BF Sheila, and her husband to the 101st museum on Fort Campbell.  Jay was deployed, so it's easy to see why this display, and especially this letter held my attention longer than the rest.  The museum is named the Don F. Pratt Memorial Museum. More info about him can be found here.
I'm not sure how well you can read the letter, so I will transcribe it to the best of my ability.  Miah found it especially eerie that the letter was written on her birthday.
 Supreme Headquarters  
Allied Expeditionary Force
Office of the Supreme Commander
June 23, (1944)
My Dear Mrs Pratt:
It is with great sadness that I try to explain to you my sympathy in the loss of your husband. He was a gallant and valuable officer-we could not afford to loose him.
I hope you will remember, with great pride, that he made the final sacrifice for his country and for a noble cause, and did so unflinchingly. May a mercifal God help you to bear this great burden.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Mrs. Don F. Pratt


He is respectfully buried at Arlington National Cemetery, but you can see his history, and his gravestone here.

He is still remembered, here.

And also here.

What is sad is that I cannot find any solid information about his wife, Martha.  There is a rude joke I've heard a million times, "If the Army wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one."  It seems that history feels the same way.  The only information I've found is her birth date, death date, and where she is buried.
The Wikipedia page mentions that Saving Private Ryan refers to Pratt's situation.  I recently watched that movie with Jay, but I don't remember the scene they are talking about.  I may talk Jay into watching it with me again, just to check it out.
Sorry if I bored you with this one, but I find the history fascinating.  Especially with my "soldier's wife" perspective. I empathize with Martha.  When I was reading the letter, standing in the museum surrounded my the history of the 101st and the wars they have participated in, sterilized and compartmentalized, this display pulled me into the reality of it.  I used to think that the Army, it's history, and the wars, were romantic history.  Having now lived (some of) the future's "War on Terror" history, I  have rethought that idiotic idea. 

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