To the Citizens of McCook Neb.:
I am writing to express my gratitude to the citizens of your fine city. I have been retired from the military for many years now. However, the day I passed through McCook back in 1942 has remained in my memory as clearly as if it were yesterday. I was one of nearly 300 soldiers traveling on a troop train from San Diego, Calif., to the Great Lakes area. We were going there for advanced training, and were scheduled to be shipped overseas out of Washington D.C. shortly thereafter.
Our stay in McCook was very short. Our troop train stopped for only about one hour. What I remember most, is not the coffee, doughnuts, cigarettes and playing cards. It is the sincerity of your citizens that has stayed with me all these years. With our world in its present state, nation against nation -- brother against brother, I find myself longing for the kind of support and caring that we experienced from your city on that day. Our military personnel today, sadly, do not enjoy that kind of support any longer.
It has been over 60 years since I passed through McCook. I am hoping that my expressions of gratitude are not too late to reach some of those who warmed our hearts and fed us so generously that day. It is my hope that this letter will be published in your local newspaper. Perhaps some of your citizens will remember those days as memories of when they came out to support the passing troops. Others, perhaps, will remember their parents or grandparents talking about the passing troop trains.
Unfortunately, I do not have any names or photographs of our short visit to McCook, so I am unable to put any names or faces together with my thank you. I can only hope that this letter will reach those who served us and shared that short hour of their lives.
Please pass my gratitude on to the fine people of McCook, and allow me to wish them well as they did me back in 1942. If anyone there still remembers those days, and would like to share their memories and perspective, please encourage them to contact to me via e-mail I would love the opportunity to thank them personally.
With heartfelt appreciation.