Cheri knew that her Grandfather, Al Williams, had fought in the Second World War. She tried to imagine what that was like — she knew he had been a gunner, that was all. His generation didn’t talk much about those things.
One day Al told her about the wooden suitcase in his basement containing letters he had written his parents from overseas. It had not been opened since 1946. Al asked Cheri if she would like to open the suitcase with him one day. She was very eager to do that, and soon her Grandpa would be reading her the letters while she recorded him. The story that unfolded was inspiring and wonderful, while also being gut-wrenchingly sad and, above all, surprising.
From the training to the fighting and then the Occupation, we read stories of circumstances that tested the will of all involved. We also see the lives of civilians during the war and after. Because of censorship, and because Al did not want to upset his parents, he often filled the pages with light-hearted stories of life in the various countries where he was stationed. However, he tells Cheri stories that were not included in the letters, and these are included in this book.
These stories could not remain locked up in the wooden suitcase forever. They had to be shared. Prepare to step back in time to the year 1944….
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