Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"Dear Mom" A Soldier's Christmas Letter

UPDATED: A full 11:32 minute excerpt from Chapter ONE of A Soldier's Italian Christmas!

A Soldier's Italian Christmas: Excerpt from Chapter One from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Letters are windows to the past...especially handwritten letters. There's nothing more heartfelt than a letter from a soldier far away from home during the holidays.

Here is a letter from Captain Mack O’Casey to his mother back in Brooklyn during World War II. Mack is serving in Italy with the Fifth Army. Note the stars on the stockings hanging over the fireplace: one gold star for each member of the family serving in the Armed Forces.

© Americanspirit |

Somewhere in Italy
December 25, 1943

Dear Mom,

I sure wish I was home for the holidays with you and Cort. I can see you now sitting by the Christmas tree with our stockings hung over the fireplace. Three stockings with a gold star for each of us. Lex. Trace. And me. Tell my little brother Cort he’d better get through basic training and get over here. We need him. The Nazis have us pinned down. Sorry, I can’t tell you any more than that. Just know I’m thinking about you on this Christmas morning and missing you. I sure wish Pop was here. He loved a good fight and he would have whipped these Nazis good. But he died doing what God put him here on earth to do. He wouldn’t have had it any other way.

I know you’re getting teary-eyed reading this letter and I wish I were there to hold your hand. I know Lex feels the same way and so does Trace. But we all have a job to do, whether it’s Lex fighting in the South Pacific or Trace flying over France or me here in Italy. God knows where the Army will send Cort. We’re fighting for freedom and there’s nothing more important than that. But your job on the home front is important, too. Keeping up our spirits with your letters telling us the news back home and using your sugar ration stamps to make cookies for us. Just thinking that maybe next Christmas we’ll be home for the holidays is what keeps us going.

 © Ingrid Balabanova |
We never stop talking about home. Earlier today I was telling my sergeant, Joe Duffy, about your hand-rolled ravioli and panettone. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Fluffy pasta pillows oozing with cheese and sauce. And so many raisins in the bread, I couldn’t count them all. The Italians here aren’t so lucky. They have little to eat and have to steal food to survive. Duffy and I shared what we had with a bunch of orphans. Poor kids almost didn’t have a Christmas with that Nazi major throwing his weight around. Someday when this war is over, I’ll tell you the whole story. Until then, Mom, I’m in good hands. You see, I discovered a man can lose his faith when he sees his men blown apart by German machine guns or freezing to death in this bitter cold, his feet so blistered he can’t walk, his spirit broken by trudging through black mud and endless rain, but then a miracle happened. I met an angel. A beautiful angel with eyes flecked with amber. And she gave me back that faith…

I’ve got to sign off now. I can’t tell you where I’m going, but don’t worry about me. I’ll be home for Christmas next year, God willing.

Your loving son,


Will Captain Mack O’Casey be home for the holidays the next year? And who is this beautiful angel he met?

A Soldier’s Italian Christmas tells the story…

A Soldier’s Italian Christmas 
O’Casey Brothers in Arms 1

December 1943

He is a U.S Army captain, a battle-weary soldier who has lost his faith.
She is a nun, her life dedicated to God.
Together they are going to commit an act the civilized world will not tolerate.
They are about to fall in love.
A Soldier’s Italian Christmas is a holiday novella sweet romance available on Amazon Kindle
Happy Holidays!

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