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29th Infantry Division

175th Infantry Regiment

D Company

My name is Paul Kachurak and I am a new associate member. My link to the 29th Division is via my great-uncle, Francis Lazorick. He was a Staff Sergeant in Company D, 175th Infantry Regiment during WW2. I am writing this article to share some of his letters home, which I think you will find interesting. There came a point several years ago when my grandparents needed help caring for themselves.  When we were packing up their belongings my grandfather pulled out a US flag and said, “This was the flag that draped your great-uncle’s casket when he came home. I want you to have it because I know you’ll respect it. He was a good man.”  That was the most I ever remember him speaking of his brother. I looked at its 48 stars and wondered, “Who was Francis Lazorick?” After my grandfather passed away my mom gave me some letters that Frank had sent to my grandparents. They aren’t what one typically reads of World War 2. They are the thoughts of one soldier far from home before going into combat. They provide a humorous and touching insight into an individual’s mind during the events of almost 65 years ago. I have nine of these letters and below are the first three of them:

 V-Mail to Helen Lazorick from Sgt. Francis Lazorick, Co. D, 175th Infantry, 24 January 1943

Dear Helen,Received your letter the other day also the package, for which I am very grateful. So thanks a lot. I enjoyed your letter very much and am anxiously waiting to get Gerald’s. I will send him an answer just as soon as I get his.Well, Helen, we are getting to be pretty well acclimated to things here in England. At first I had an awful time trying to get used to the new money over here, also the traffic, as you know that they drive on the left side of the street. There really is a lot I could tell you about but really have a lot of letters to answer and I promise a longer one just as soon as I write a word or two in answer to the other letters.I want to wish you and Joe and Gerald the best of everything. Oh, I almost forgot the little baby, how is he getting along. Boy, I am sure glad I got up to see him when I did because when I get to see him again he won’t be a baby. Give my regards to your mother and Dad also your brothers. As ever,Frank

V-Mail to Joseph Lazorick from Sgt. Francis Lazorick, Co. D, 175th Infantry, 20 February 1943

Dear Brother Joe,I was really surprised but very glad to here from you. Your letter was laying on my cot when I got back from a very interesting trip to London. I had a two day pass and I really had a wonderful time. Boy, that sure is a swell place. I could tell you about this place but since we have restrictions on what to write about. I will just have to wait until we get back to the USA. I just came from church and am staying in tonight to write a few letters. While I am writing this letter, a fellow here is frying some rabbit meat for us. But since I hate rabbit I didn’t think I will take any. This guy sure has a bug for rabbit hunting, every time we go to drill he always finds a way to sneak away to look for rabbit. His luck is fairly good, too.

I sure was surprised to hear that Bill Diesemath is a city policeman, he sure is a lucky guy. Is his father still on the force?Yes Joe, I do know that things at home are not like they used to be because every time I get a letter from anybody they tell me the same thing. I really don’t mind being over here, in fact, am beginning to like it here.By the way how is Joseph getting along, he must be getting to be a big boy now? I see the space on this is getting short so I want to wish Helen, Gerald and the baby the best of everything, also Helen’s Mother and Dad. Tell Helen and the boy, Gerald, to write again. I sure do enjoy their letters. And don’t forget to write yourself. When you go to W.B. again give Mom and Pop my regards. So long for now and until I hear from you again I remain sincerely your brother, Frank.

 V-Mail to Joseph Lazorick from Sgt. Francis Lazorick, Co. D, 175th Infantry, 14 April 1943

Dear Helen and Joe,Received two letters today from you and Gerald. I was really glad to hear from you and I want to say that I got a big kick out of Gerald’s letter but it was really interesting especially when he wrote about that play he was in. I could almost see him coming on the stage and breaking out laughing when the audience began laughing. I sure wish I had been there.Well I was glad to hear that you are all fine, also the baby. Of course, you did say that he was a little sick but I am glad to know that it not serious. Personally I am feeling fine but they sure are keeping us busy over here. I was glad to hear that you are doing good at the Hazard. You sure must be getting to be a “big shot” travelling from W.B. to Newark all the time on their expense. I am beginning to think that I will be looking to you for a good job when I do come home. All kidding aside Joe but I really am proud of you so keep up the good work. I haven’t much space left so I must close now, wishing you and yours the best of everything and may God bless you all.  Give Helen my regards. Your brother, Frank.

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Copyright: Laurent Lefebvre