The two of them with their efforts to help Papa Burgus to save the farm did not succeed as they still lost the one farm to the bank. The other one southeast of Murray did survive the depression. In the 40's both boys from middle America were drafted into the Army.
After completing basic training my dad, Jesse, was shipped to Washington D.C. to guard government buildings and also to read radar to watch for enemy aircraft. His being stationed in that area, with a wife and son at home had to be a considerable adjustment. In the photo above you can see him walking the streets of D.C. maybe even going to the movies.
His brother Donald, three years younger than him, ended up in Alaska, at the Aleutian Islands. There the U.S. military were stationed to monitor aircraft and I believe also to repair planes. There was a harbor there too. He is sitting on the right in the picture.
I am going to make the assumption that his is my Uncle Donald with a friend, even though I thought it was my dad for a long time. When Dad and his brother were younger they looked a lot alike. I will post this as Uncle Donald and let the relatives correct me.
This is Uncle Donald Burgus at his barracks in the Aleutians.
A year and a half before the World War ended, dad was sent overseas to reinforce troops there. He ended up in the Battle of the Bulge. Before then he was stationed in Belgium before moving out towards Germany. This is the first letter that my dad to my mom after arriving in Belgium. In it he is writing his concerns for one of his son's health and also very concerned about his brother Donald. Little did my dad know what he was about to have happen to him in active warfare.
Here is my dad in uniform in the Belgium village in 1944. I have those patches from the uniform. I can't imagine how that uniform stayed safe as he went to battle. They must have returned to Belgium when the war was declared over to retrieve his things.
The are so many questions that I will never get to ask now but it is interesting how you don't even thing about them until the person involved is gone.
Both Donald and Jesse are gone now. Donald died a few years before my dad, who died in 2000.
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