Thursday, Oct. 21, 1943
Today’s letter is a breezy take on my father’s plans to enlist in the Army. My mother wrote: “We are as busy as bees, winding up our affairs here and deciding what to take and what to leave and what to store and what to use, etc. During the 2 months that Abe has to wait before he goes into the Army, he may practice medicine in NYC. But all that remains to be decided upon when we arrive.” My father’s intention was all the more striking given the move by Congress to delay drafting dads. This reluctance to get on a real war footing infuriated Captain Eddie Rickenbacker who called for universal service and challenged Americans to stop being complacent about the war. With the Germans fleeing Crimea, the focus was on Japan, increasingly feared as a more brutal adversary. After the execution of Jimmy Doolittle’s raiders, more stories of torture were coming out, including water-boarding.