Army pay sent home to mother

From our November 2012 issue

By Dorothy McLeod – Saskatoon, Sask.

My husband, Keith, was the third eldest in a family of 13 children, two of whom died in infancy.

At a very early age, he went to work and gave all the money he earned to his mother to help support his brothers and sisters whom he loved very much. He never complained. He was happy to be helping out.

The day he turned 18 in 1943, he joined the army and was on the front lines eight months later. He served in North Africa, Italy, and Holland. Again, he had his army pay, as much as was allowed, sent directly home to his mother.

His youngest sister, Beverley, would have been about two years of age and his youngest brother, Kirk, about four years old when he left.

As soon as they learned to print their little letters, they sent them off to their big brother telling him what Santa was to bring for Christmas.

How he must have treasured those letters because he loved those little siblings. He kept the letters and toted them all around in his kit bag for two years until he came home. Only a veteran could understand the conditions under which our ‘heroes’ lived and fought.

Shortly after his return, we were married and upon sorting his stuff we came across the letters. They were slightly tattered but we kept them. I am sentimental and I guess he was too!

Many years later, Beverley and Kirk were both married with children of their own. Again, when we were sending out our Christmas cards and gifts we came across the precious little letters.

We decided to send them so they could show their children. They were delighted! They had a good laugh and wrote and thanked us for saving them.

I’m sure they never connected that big brother Keith, with his big heart and meager army pay was indeed the Santa who made their Christmas wishes come true.