As I told you when we talked on the telephone in October, I read
your diary with great interest and I have since read it again.
Also, I marvel at the ability of anyone who lived under the conditions
we were living under being able to keep such a record, regardless
of how it was done.
I may not have run my battalion to suit everyone in it, but I
wasn’t running a popularity contest. In training in the
U.S., I tried to prepare the battalion for what I knew was coming
later. You can’t do that by saying “please.”
I also learned to appreciate the real meaning of that trite saying
“command is a lonely job.” My best friends were outside
the battalion and I’m sure you understand the reason for
that as well as anyone could understand. That doesn’t mean
that I did not feel and hurt inside when good people, and they
were all good people, were killed, or wounded, or cracked up.
It was an odd thing that some of the best people in the 317th
did crack up. I’ve read the psychological theory as to why
that often happens, but I still don’t understand all I know
I got out of the service in February
1945, got in the insurance business, was recalled involuntarily
for 20 months in December 1950, spent 12 months of that tour in
the Canal Zone, came back home, got into insurance and real estate.
In 1961, I took a job with the Internal Security Division, U.S.
Treasury Department in Atlanta. I enjoyed the work very much,
but the constant traveling by car and plane was not much fun.
I left with an invitation to return anytime but I never did. I
started an accounting business and in 1979, hung it up.
I kept my commission in the AUS and
got my Eagles in 1958 and went on retired status in 1960. The
retired pay from that is pretty good and along with some other
good things, we get along quite well.
It has been a genuine pleasure to renew
our acquaintance and I hope to hear from you again in the near
Russell (“Russ”) E. Murray, Colonel (retired)
November 16, 1987