University of Virginia Historical Collections at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

Nurse Ruth Beery: Correspondence with Next of Kin (Letter 23)

[Houston 6, Texas]
March 3, 1946

Dear Captain Beery -
Your letter with a bit of news
about my son Sgt. Wm F. Homes
was very gratefully received.
The only other letter I ever
received (other than from the
War Department) was from Chaplain
M. J. Kippenbrock, who was at
the Battalion Aid station when
Billy was brought there.
It is a comfort to know Billy
was cared for in a hospital -
(To [Too] many young boys died alone)
And also to know he was buried
in a United States Cemetery – however
I have never been notified as
to where that cemetery is located,
other than Northern Italy.

There are a number of questions
I would like to ask you – but do
not know that I would feel any
better knowing the answers.
Billy and his younger brother
Jack were all I had. My husband
died 17 years ago this month – when
Billy was 5 and Jack 2 years old.
Some how I never felt anything
would happen to Billy -
And that’s one thing I’d like
to know. How did it happen?
He was only 8 days out of a
hospital from a previous wound.
(October 2) – He wrote a few days
before his death that 2 was his
unlucky number and he would
have to be careful.
If possible could you tell
me – or do you know – how

and where he was wounded -
I am enclosing a little poem
he wrote – it was published in
the Houston Post here – I have
a great many more – but thought
you might like this one -
Please don’t ever doubt but
that we mothers know what
a great work you nurses did -
And that you had great
courage – We deeply appreciate
all that you did – and all
that you wanted to do – .

Sincere best wishes to you -
Jewel Homes
1710 Park St
Houston 6, Texas

[envelope marked "ans"]

[Enclosed poem]
Bowed to the early twilight,
My head upon my chest;
Through the lonely still of evening
Comes a pain to fill my breast.

As I gaze at the mound that covers you
And the cross above your head,
My eyes are filled with sadness
For YOURS was the fate we dread.

Under the cross that marks you,
Is your face reposed in peace?
Have you really found in that other world,
A long and envious sleep?

Or do you writhe in agony
At the torture we faced for naught?
Are you tormented by those beside us
Who bled and died as we fought?

But, no, for the night has gladness
And the music is for your ears:
Can’t you glimpse the stars above you
glistening like lovers’ tear?

Through this I have the answer:
The world should have no fears,
For the knowledge that you died for them
Will live through the future years.

Box/Folder: 33/026

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