"Letters from Home" was installed in the Vietnam Memorial Garden, Vista California, dedication on Sunday; I'm so pleased with how it all turned out. I've traveled to memorials all over the country, NY, DC, etc. The way this is presented from a family's intimate experience and how the letters walk you through Ernie and the family's journey is unique for war memorials. Raw and truthful, you are transported into these lives and a personal story unfolds that is timeless and broad reaching. In my opinion, it has taken a lot of courage for the families to share their loved ones' letters. You really feel like a window has been opened to view a glimpse back in time, and for a moment you are with them. All I can say is it's a powerful experience.
This is one of the letters in the memorial that really moved me. It really helped me understand how important these letters were to the soldiers in the field.
“For a while as I read your letters, I am a normal person. I’m not killing people, or worried about being killed… but proud to be an American and Marine and fighting in the company of men who make this world safe for ice skating, department stores and lampshades,” Marine Capt. Rodney Chastant, who died October 1968, a year after writing this letter reassuring his parents he enjoyed the trivial details of their news from home."