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My Grandfather's 11th Airborne Wallet


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Thanks AZ. Ive been on the road the past couple of days, so I am just getting back to the forum. But I also had time to reflect a bit about what I found. I realized that these scrapbooks were made by a man in his early 30s, had a career, and was newly married. As I was driving, I mentally kept thinking about these things he chose to save and hightlight in his scrap book. I kept fixating on the toothbrush, trying to think why that would be important. Then it dawned on me. If I step back and look at the group as a whole, it became clear to me. He had humanized his experience in the war. His scrapbook was filled with things that made him laugh, things he had enjoyed or was proud of. His pictures showed families, friends, and life going about its day. There was not one picture of him or anyone in combat gear. There was not any pictures of destruction or death. My aunt told me He had been classified as someone who was needed more at his company he worked for than to carry a rifle. He volunteered because he was ashamed of having to try to explain why he wasnt in service or go through the humiliation of being called names. So he enlisted on his own, proceeded to be trained to do a job. And to do that job well, you must dehumanize. Im a bit ashamed for some initial disappointment at not finding anything that would fall into the categories we covet as collectors (except patches). Truth is now that Ive digested this all, Im proud that he somehow did the job he was asked to do. Nothing more, nothing less. And through it, He never lost his character. He showed how life still mattered.

 

 

Very well said Chris. I believe your assessment of the types of articles and reasoning of your Grandfather to put them in the scrapbook is spot-on. It's a wonderful collection.

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Specific areas of collecting and buying interest:

WWI/WWII 40th (Sunshine) Division, Camp Kearny, Camp Harry Jones, WWI/WWII 158th Infantry, USS Oklahoma, USS Swordfish (SS-193), Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Mexican Border (1916),

Norman Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Norman, OK, Tinker Field or AFB, Submariner Items, Knives, Bayonets, Sweetheart Jewelry, other unique

or odd items with interesting stories.

 

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