Every year at Christmas, my father goes through all the holiday greeting cards he has received to see which ones were purchased from the company I work for. This all started years ago when I spotted one of “my” cards, Design 307CW – Patriotic Dove Peaceful Holiday Card, sitting on his fireplace mantel. It was a holiday card from his investment broker depicting a white dove against an American flag background with the words “Peace on Earth” inscribed in gold lettering. He was fascinated that a company created patriotic Christmas cards and this one especially brought to mind a “greeting card” he had received back in 1945. Being the 83 year old reminiscing storyteller that he has become, my father proceeded to tell me about the “greeting card” he received that year.
He had just turned 18 and by law had to register with the local draft board. World War II was winding down in Europe but was still going full force in the Pacific. He had been assured he would not be called to serve before he graduated from high school in a few months. In the interim, his school officials were working with the Navy to get him into a new training program.
Shortly after graduation in May, he received a rather “bland” notice via telegram that began: “Greetings. You have been accepted by the United States Navy as a volunteer for their Electronic Technician Training Program. Report to… Congratulations.”
Recently, my father was going through some old papers in his desk and he came across this tattered, worn telegram that changed his life in many ways. His first thought was that this piece of paper should have been put in a picture frame many years ago because of the impact it had on his life. His second thought was that this message should have arrived on beautiful Design 307CW – Patriotic Dove Peaceful Holiday Card, inscribed in gold foil with the message of his induction into the Navy embossed with the official naval insignia inside. If that had been the case, this multi-colored patriotic greeting card would have been proudly displayed on the wall of his living room for the past 65 years.