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

American soldiers near Monte Cassino

March 12, 1944

Worn-out, with movement in the air

Dear Elizabeth,

You can write about any problems that you have. Those are the kinds of problems that we should be dealing with, ones that give a sense of normalcy. In the light of everything that is going on, yes, most of the things that we complain about on a daily basis are nothing worth complaining about. But you’ve had serious things to deal with – your brother’s death, your father’s disappearance – those aren’t things to gloss over. I can’t be there to help you and I wish I could, but hearing about them, about anything in your life, makes me feel closer to you and gives me a reason to keep going. I’d much rather hear about how you’re holding up trying to deal with things like that than going on about how you can’t get enough sugar to make a cake due to rationing or how you can’t get the new dress you want. Those material things are what we usually waste so much time on but they are inconsequential. Your problems aren’t. Don’t ever feel like you have to apologize for them.

I’d give anything to be there with you. Even having silly, petty arguments over things like cakes and dresses sounds wonderful. The best part of fighting, after all, (and really the only reason worth fighting in the first place), is making up afterward.

What you’re doing with the Red Cross is important. There are so many things that make me think of you and now I can add the red crosses on my uniform. There was some old song from the last war about the Red Cross Nurse and no man’s land. Wish I could remember it, I think I liked it.



Next letter – March 19, 1944