Soldiers say farewell as Christmas leaves are canceled (1941)

Soldiers say farewell to girls as Christmas leaves are canceled

A soldier’s world is a lonely, uncertain world. It is a world of men, of work, of scrubby little towns far away from home. It is a world where sweetness and beauty live only in the memory of what has been and what may be again tomorrow.

When this picture was taken, this soldier was talking to his best girl. lie was not saying much. Yet for one brief moment, before the girl went away, he was no longer a corporal in the U. S. Army. He was a boy in love, subject to nobody’s orders, free to say what he wanted, dream what he wanted.

And what he dreamed of principally was his Christmas furlough, when, with some 600,000 other soldiers, he would leave the Army camps to spend two weeks at home with his family and best girl.

But now with the nation at war, most Christmas furloughs will be drastically cut or canceled altogether, and this farewell scene takes on a deeper significance. It is something this happy boy and girl, thinking only of each other, may remember as long as they live.

LIFE Dec 15, 1941 Soldiers Christmas

Photo: At a hangar party at the Army’s Sherwood Field near Paso Robles, Calif., Corporal Robert Robinson whispers a secret to his best girl, pretty Virginia Treece

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