The Telegram

Edith Montgomery

Having my young husband go into battle was so very hard for me. He was going with the Eagles from Fort Campbell Kentucky.

Knowing how much he wanted to be with his men even though we had just lost a daughter” there was nothing I could do. I watched him march off like so many other young wives with children not knowing what war was or ever being around anyone who had ever been to war.

I rented a house close to Hopkinsville, Kentucky from a cousin of mine. The local newspaper was posting pictures of the men dying in Vietnam. It caused so much trouble they had to stop it. Many times women would see their husband dead in the paper before the Chaplin came to notify them officially. So many men were dying” the wives were getting telegrams.

My cousin had called her mother and she told me not to mail the rent as they had sold the house. A week later I went to the post office and there was a telegram for me. Lord, never in my whole life have I felt the way I did that day. I shook so hard and drove fast trying to get to my mothers.

I ran into her home, tears streaming down my face screaming; “Mom, mom, I got a telegram!” I was about to fall, my mother told my Step Father to get me into a chair .
As Mom started to read the telegram she knew that I would scream “No, no, no!”. There was no way that I was going to let her tell me my soldier was dead. My Mom kept saying; “Honey, it’s ok, it’s ok!

I got very quiet. She was going to tell me that he got wounded. What it was; my cousin had sent me a telegram telling me that the sale of the house was off and to continue sending the rent. Part of me died that day; I was in bed for weeks. The word went out to all the family members; “No telegrams were to come to me until my man came home”. And, come home he did thank God.

After that day my Mom took care of getting all my mail before I saw it. Just in case another telegram came for me.

I still pray for the young wives and mothers that got that awful news. To this day I know how it would make me feel. I still have my soldier although he did go back to Vietnam. Thanks to prayers, God sent him back home to me. Maybe not whole, but if he had just but one arm to hold me with that would have been ok as long as he came back alive.