World War I Veteran

When the United States entered World War I the US Navy put out a call for help.The hubby's great grand Aunt responded to the call by sending them her binoculars.


When the grand old lady passed away the hubby's Aunt Pat became the guardian of this World War I Veteran. Now Aunt Pat, who is in her 80's,feels that the Veteran needs to be cared for by someone else.
We have accepted this duty and plan on getting the letters sealed and the binoculars shrink-wrapped to keep them in tip-top shape. The case is made of fine leather which has been shined by the handling of it's early years. I can't help wondering how many brave hands held them and where they traveled during their short tour of duty.

The first letter was written on April 12, 1918 to Mrs. David T. Oaks. It is interesting to note, however, that the greeting is "Dear Sir."

Your prompt and patriotic response to the Navy's call for binoculars,telescopes, and spy-glasses, is most appreciated. The glasses will be very useful in the prosecution of Naval Operations until victory is won. At the termination of the war, if possible, every effort will be made to return them to you. when it is hoped you will feel compensated for any evidence of wear, by the knowledge that you have supplied "Eyes for the Navy" during a very trying period. On behalf of the Navy, I wish to thank you most heartily.
F. D. Roosevelt
Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Envelope001Letter001


Of course her donation was not the sacrifice that many made.
I like to think that these were a precious possession and
she gave them to the Navy realizing that she would probably not get them back. Think how excited she must have been to see them again.  Perhaps she used them later to go bird watching.

Letter002Letter003Letter004

I am going to take them for a last walk and look at the world through them one more time before we retire them in a protective case.


Comments

Heather said…
What a fun - and symbolic - legacy. All kept for keeps.
And I learned something new, too. Didn't know that FDR was once Asst Secretary of the Navy. See, a secretary can one day become president. Isn't our nation great?
Vicki said…
What a great story! I love it that you record History in this way.
Amanda said…
This is such a cool part of our family history. I am glad we have them, even if they are worn from handling and time. Antiques roadshow, here we come!!!
Shauna said…
You always post such interesting history stories. . .It is so cool that you are able to share!
Biker Betty said…
WOW! That is so awesome. I had no idea that the Navy borrowed such things for WW1 and to actually get them back, is something. It's neat that she saved all the letters she received. That is special family history. Thanks for sharing it.
Kila said…
Wow, that is so cool! Quite some keepsakes you have there! (I got a kick out of the payment of $1.) The good ol' days.
Kellie said…
WOW! That is just awesome. I hope you will never get rid of them so that your grandkids' grandkids' can share them on their blogs!
Karmyn R said…
Not only are they a fascinating part of history - but that letter was hand signed by FDR! That is WAY cool -
Susan in va said…
Wow! How cool!

I am most struck, however, at the impeccable manners, flawless grammar, and genuine gratitude reflected by these letters. A dying art.
wolfbaby said…
ohh wow that is some serious history you got there.. take care.
Devon said…
What a fabulous family story with the items handed down for generations! It is great!
Susie said…
I love these historical posts and I'm sending my husband in to read this one too! (He loves naval history!)
:)
marnie said…
That is one amazing piece of history... I can't believe she got them back!

That first photo is great. I would put the real thing somewhere safe and find a nice frame for that photo.
swampwitch said…
It's always such a personal history lesson over here. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. When you held those binoculars for one last time, did you wonder who else had held them and who they saw through those lenses?
swampwitch said…
P.S. If you see about 10 hits from my place on your site meter, I'm not stalking, I just have a difficult time getting your blog to load, then once I do succeed, I'm such a klutz with the back button, I have to keep re-loading.
Nosjunkie said…
I loved that story.
My dad collected world war II relics and I now own a medical kit with reusable needles that must have been passed down
Julie said…
Wow! That is an amazing story. I am shocked that she got them back. I am going to be sending people to your site all day.

Thanks for always giving us a bit of history that we wouldn't hear anywhere else. We, the public, don't hear enough about the good things. This is one of the good things we like to hear about.
Masago said…
A great story.
Peggy said…
Such a great story and what a treasure piece of family and national history! Thanks for sharing this!!
Matt said…
Imagine the Army today asking citizens to provide such basics as kevlar shielding.... Amazing.
AJ said…
Pamela, what an awesome piece of military history! LOL...how incredible! I am so glad you guys are preserving those keepsakes for future generations!
James Burnett said…
That really is an amazing bit of history. I love this. Reading your blog is better than the History Channel sometimes, and certainly comes with more human emotion.

As always, good stuff.

Happy New Year!
Anonymous said…
take them to that travling antique show ivy

Popular posts from this blog

Sing in Spring

An Old Cold Spot

Earth Friendly