This is the twenty-third of 87 letters exchanged during World War II between Nicholas Salvatore and Elizabeth Galloway.
For more see Nicholas and Elizabeth.

WW II Red Cross Poster

March 1, 1944

No riders and no purple sage

Dear Nicholas,

Mother and I started volunteering with the Red Cross. They say when we write letters to soldiers they should be kept “cheery” and free of “ bad or depressing news.” I’m sorry if I’ve complained a lot. Life here isn’t that bad, I know that. It’s nothing like over there. I just get so lonely. That’s always been my biggest trouble.

Know that we are thinking of you here, especially when I wrap packages of gauze or do anything else that they need done. It’s not much I know, but everything helps. It’s childish but I’ve started to believe everything I do to help the war effort helps to keep you safe. I even came up with a conversion system where every hour I volunteer guarantees you five minutes of safety. If only it worked that way.

I’ve avoided the war as much as I could since it started. Then we went to the pictures the other day and they had a newsreel of the fighting in Europe. I could hear about it on the radio and see pictures in LIFE, but watching footage of what was happening as it unfolded moment by moment, it was too much. I ran out in tears. The next day we went down to the Red Cross. I’ve spent so much time being selfish and it never got me anywhere. I want to do my part. I want to keep you safe.

You mustn’t let yourself be hurt, you hear me? I want you back just as you were. Anyways, you can’t get hurt as you’d only end up meeting Catherine Barkley or I guess it would be her daughter at this point (well, you know what I mean), and I won’t lose you now. Then again, if Gary Cooper showed up here, well, what girl could resist? In all seriousness though, keep yourself safe. I care about you very much.



Next letter – March 4, 1944