Second World War: Uncle Abe's Purple Heart

Idaho woman recalls her uncle returning from the Second World War with a Purple Heart.

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I was born a year after America entered the Second World War. Although I was only 3 years old when it ended, my mind still holds a picture of Dad sitting at the kitchen table listening to war news on the radio. Dad's face was troubled, and I remember a tense, worried feeling in the air. Dad's brother, my Uncle Abe, was over there somewhere fighting. 

Mother used ration coupons for certain items, and one especially fascinated me. She bought white oleo in a package with a yellow dot. When the dot was pressed, it released color, and she kneaded it until the contents looked as good as butter. The taste I've forgotten, but I remember squeezing the yellow dot.

Uncle Abe came home to thankful, cheering relatives. I held the Purple Heart he showed me, but not long after it became a treasured keepsake. He survived the War, but was killed in a car accident a few weeks after arriving home. He was 24, and my hero.

Judy Barnes
Rathdrum, Idaho


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.