Staying In Touch

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1: an act or instance of transmitting

2 a : information transmitted or conveyed b : a verbal or written message

3 a : a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior ; also : exchange of information b : personal rapport <a lack of communication between old and young persons>

4 plural a : a system (as of telephones) for transmitting or exchanging information b : a system of routes for moving troops, supplies, and vehicles c : personnel engaged in transmitting or exchanging information


In the World War II era there was no Internet, no e-mail, no I-pod, no television, and no cell phones. Many families didn’t even have land phones. Military members working in the United States did have access to phones and Western Union wire services, but those in overseas war zones in Europe and the Pacific relied on postal services.

It’s remarkable that the APO (Army Post Office) could get mail in and out of those war zones at all, but it often took weeks for a letter to go from soldiers overseas to families in the USA. Letters were carefully read by official “censors” to make sure they didn’t divulge any information about tactical activities. Soldiers were not even allowed in many cases to tell where they were. It was common for letters to have sentences or even paragraphs cut out by the censors.

Today nearly every soldier is connected to a family by cell phone, internet, Skype, and a variety of other social networks. Overall, such communication is a blessing, but it can cause anxiety on the battlefield when the family at home has a problem or worry in the family when the soldier can instantaneously report a casualty.

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