November 19, 2001
Dear Doc and Doris,
It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen you. I believe it was some years ago at the Sims reunion. That was several years before we moved here to Florida after my retirement.
I talk to Dorothy and W. D. fairly often and got your address from them a couple of months ago. I also have a recent picture of you that was taken at Mike’s funeral in Marlow.
I suppose it was something about that picture that caused me to begin reflecting on when I was a kid in Cameron many years ago. We lived down below the railroad tracks there just south of the jailhouse. I was just a kid 6 or 7 years old. Then later we moved to Houston where Dorothy and Daddy went to work in the shipyard. I remember during those years thinking often of my cousin Carl Sims and his brother Melton Sims who were far away fighting the war against the Germans in Europe. I still have pictures of you somewhere showing you in your uniform. Doc, I remember how proud I was to tell everyone about my cousins in the army and how I wanted to grow up and be a soldier and fight the Germans.
In the last couple of years those memories have been revisited with the release of the movies “Saving Private Ryan” and even more recently, “Band of Brothers.” Having never experienced the horrors of war, I look upon these two movies as the most realistic presentation of wartime action ever made. Even at that, I’m sure they haven’t portrayed what it was really like.
Doc, I write you now having much more hindsight than when I was an impressionable kid. But the years have not robbed me of the pride I have in calling you my hero. I think of those years when I was but a child and you, a young soldier. I remember how excited I was to hear any news about my cousins in the army. And I remember the sadness in hearing of Melton being killed in action.
Though time has painted a different picture for each of us, those things that linger in our memory can still be seen through the eyes of a child and a young soldier. I look at that recent picture of you and still see my hero. I see a young soldier in uniform and feel the same pride well up inside a young kid in Cameron.
Doc, I wanted you to know these things. I could have kept them hidden inside my heart and never told anyone. But, they are mine to do with as I please. And I choose to send them to you and Doris with the love I have for you. As Christians, we know that the love we are sharing in Jesus Christ will be eternal. I believe the respect and admiration I hold you in for what you did will also last forever.
Maybe we will get back to Texas one of these days. If so, I hope to have the time to come by Mexia and see you. If not, who knows, someday a kid may tug on the sleeve of a young soldier. The young soldier might turn to find a freckle-faced kid, joyful in the presence of his hero.
Doc, if not before, I’ll see you in Glory. I send you respect and most of all, love.
With eternal admiration,