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by William Sabel
Purdue University Press 1998
Cover Price: $16.95
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|Seeds of Hope
An Engineer's WWII Letters
William Sabel was twenty-five years old, single, and living on a poultry farm in Marshall County, Indiana, when he was drafted into military service in April 1941. He expected to serve one year - then came the attack on Pearl Harbor, and all hope of even a short furlough, let alone discharge, was over. Through five years' worth of letters to his parents, we follow Sabel through basic training, officer candidate school, and finally three years of service in the South Pacific with the Army Corps of Engineers, assigned to the 350th Engineer Service Regiment.
Sabel's letters offer an unexpected view of World War II - not of heroics and battle, but of war's tedium, discomfort, and inefficiency. Bored but never boring, Sabel is as frank in his criticism of those in command as he is in affectionately scolding his mother for sending such perishables as strawberries and chocolate to the tropics. Throughout his service overseas, whether he is involved in logging operations or construction, Sabel, with his passion for farming, sows seeds of hope - hope for the present and hope for the future.
Interview with author and veteran William Sable
Review by Justin Taylan
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