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War Letters

A Gay War Romance

Author(s): habu

Warning: Gay Male Erotic Romance.

While growing up Hal had to find out what all of Granddad’s medals were about from reading old magazine articles or sneaking peeks in his grandfather’s study. Hal Collins’ war hero grandfather, Henry, always shied away from talking of his experiences in World War Two.

Henry was on the long trek from the Anzio landing in Italy, through France, and to Germany, during which he was a survivor of the “lost battalion” at Monte Cassino and was wounded on the France-Alsace border. When his own father died Hal inherited his Grandfather’s cigar box full of notes and letters along with the request that he track down a certain private Henry had served with, or the man’s descendents. A now-grown man and a soldier himself, Hal discovers not only that the private kept his side of the correspondence, but also why Henry had been so reticent about his experiences in WWII.

Hal is in for yet another surprise when he finds the long-ago private’s grandson, Bud Montgomery.

Excerpt


 Now that he’d gotten this far—contacting the man and driving all the way up to Gettysburg from Washington, D.C.—Hal Collins was having second thoughts. He arrived at the house fifteen minutes early but drove right by it and pulled over to the curb two blocks farther on. Several minutes later, the pain in his hands registered in his brain, and he realized he’d had a death grip on the steering wheel. He took his hands away and popped his knuckles.

The old wooden cigar box was sitting on the passenger seat beside him. He remembered seeing it in the bottom drawer of his grandfather’s desk in his study when he was a boy and the family was visiting The General, his grandfather. His grandfather had had a first name, of course. It was Henry. But Hal rarely had heard him called that. He was called The General by everyone Hal knew. Hal had been told his grandmother called her husband Henry, but she had died before Hal was born.

While the older folks sat out on the porch and talked, Hal would sneak into his grandfather’s study, which was stuffed with memorabilia from the three wars his grandfather had fought in: World War II, the Korean Conflict—as it was called until recent decades when it was finally given the respect of having been a war—and Vietnam, which his grandfather had fought from the Pentagon, having been called back into duty from retirement. Generals were always subject to being recalled, and Hal’s grandfather was a symbol of extraordinary bravery, honor, and service. He was so respected that his son and Hal, himself, had followed him into the service.

But The General only rarely would talk to his family about his war service. Hal’s father—and later Hal—had to find out about The General’s war service and the stories behind all of his medals and citations through old magazines or, like Hal did, by surreptitiously going through his grandfather’s study while his parents and The General chatted on the porch.

For some reason, although Hal always checked that the wooden cigar box, closed by two rubber bands, was in the bottom drawer of the desk, he never, while his grandfather was alive, had had the courage to open it.

After his grandfather’s death—ironically from lung cancer contracted by chain smoking the same cigar brand once held by what Hal thought of as The General’s secret box—Hal’s father had quickly packed up all of the memorabilia and sent it off to The General’s regimental museum, the 157th regiment of the Thunderbird Division, the 45th infantry.
For years Hal had kept thinking about the box and wishing he’d had the courage to open it to see what was inside when he was a child. When his own father died, Hal was surprised to find the box—the same one; he’d memorized every torn scrap on its sides and top—tucked away in his dad’s attic along with other things Hal knew were very private to his father.

The rubber bands no longer were on the box. Now it was closed with thick string. His father must have opened the box and seen what was inside. He must have read the few notes that Hal himself had eventually found inside, crudely penciled on yellowed paper and secured with a black ribbon.

And when Hal read those notes, he was glad he hadn’t read them until now, when he’d been through his own struggles with reality, and he knew why both his grandfather and his father had kept them secret—and, most of all, why his father hadn’t sent them off to the regimental museum with everything else.

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 978-0-9876093-7-3
Genre: Erotic
Date Published: 05/15/2014
Publisher: BarbarianSpy

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