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Testimonials: Russell (“Russ”) E. Murray, Colonel (retired) | November 16, 1987

Dear Andy:

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 about it.

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 future.

Russell (“Russ”) E. Murray, Colonel (retired)
November 16, 1987

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