Document created: 3 June 02
Published Aerospace Power Journal - Summer 2002
My War: A Love Story in Letters and Drawings by Tracy Sugarman. Random House (http://www. randomhouse.com), 201 East 50th Street, New York, New York 10022, 2000, 191 pages, $30.00.
Reminded by his wife June of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of D day in the United States and Europe, Tracy Sugarman, who served as a naval officer aboard a troop transport during the Normandy invasion, asks her, "Whatever became of our letters and drawings from the War?" The discovery of these items, unscathed in their attic, marks the beginning of the touching tale that brings together personal highlights of World War II in the magnificent book My War: A Love Story in Letters and Drawings. Sugarman left his life as an art student at Syracuse University and joined the armed services, as did thousands of Americans. Answering the call to arms after the attack on Pearl Harbor, young American men and women from all walks of life clamored to serve their country. For the first time, a kid from Yazoo City, Mississippi, met an Italian-American from New York City, and the diversity that is America would be brought together and represented in the landing craft that carried them to the beaches of Normandy.
My War contains the earthy, touching, and heartfelt correspondence between Sugarman and his wife (now deceased). Many readers will identify with these letters and drawings as Sugarman reveals both the tragic and comic aspects of life in World War II. He writes about the long hours on troop transports, seasickness, all-night poker games, and, of course, the shenanigans of liberty call. As Lt Tracy Sugarman, USNR, on board LST-491, prepares to take part in D day, he writes to June, "I believe with all my heart there must be finality this time. I pray to God that someone, anyone will take the lead and save a score of generations from the shame and disgust of winning and losing the same war again."
Sugarman could have been any solider or sailor forward-deployed in a hostile situation. His letters remind me of men and women I encountered in Bosnia, West Africa, and the Persian Gulf, where sailors found a private corner to E-mail or actually write their loved ones. I recommend that you read the book that Stephen Ambrose, acclaimed World War II historian, calls "one of the most compelling accounts of the war Iíve ever read."
Lt Youssef H. Aboul-Enein, USN
The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.