During World War II, my dad, Gilbert Steingart, served as a navy dentist. He wrote over 500 letters to his wife, my mother Eleanor. His duty in the Pacific Theater took him from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, Ulithi, Leyte Gulf (Philippines), and Buckner Bay (Okinawa).
After my mother's death, Daddy wanted to toss the letters. I convinced him to give them to me instead. The letters are a memoir of a remarkable time. Most of the letters begin with the words "Dearest Eleanor."
Free for Nothing
AMERICAN RED CROSS
Monday 24 January 1944 1630 o'clock (4:30 P.M.)
Well--at last I can sit down.We've really had a busy day today.I put in twenty-four fillings and most of
them were large ones.
I took my time driving and got in at
7:30 A.M.The other doctors here say I
shouldn't take chances like I am.If
you're late for duty, car trouble is no excuse so I may have to rearrange my
There really isn't much I can
say.I worked steadily all day.Just dozed a little during the noon hour.I really am sleepy and can't decide whether I
should go to the B'nai B'rith meeting tonight.I'll probably yawn and yawn.However I shan't decide until after "chow."Maybe a cup of coffee or two will wake me up?
How is Norma's cold today?Is Linda still naggy?I hope they'll both be good this week.I talked to the officer at the desk.Long distance calls are hard to get through
unless on official business.So if you
must reach me, you'd better wire instead of phoning.
Your cookies made a big hit.There were lots of seconds and thirds and
they are practically gone.I hope this
week goes fast so I can get back to my three girls.
Note: The Red
Cross supplies all this stationary "free for nothing."
furnish volunteer aid to the sick and wounded of armies......" and
"To act in matters of voluntary relief and in accord with the military and
naval authorities as a medium of communication between the people of the United
States of America and their Army and Navy......"The Charter of The American National Red
Cross.By Act of Congress January 5,