Charles F. Bruns lived in the East Central Illinois town of Champaign. A local athlete, ‘Chick’ joined the Army in 1941. In October of 1942 he was sent to the European Theater. During his tour he was able to keep is daily thoughts in a journal that is presented here. Additionally, photos, letters written to home, news paper articles, and historic references will be shared.

Chick Bruns

Letter Home – March 5, 1945

19450305a-Lscan-600Dear Mother & Dad;

Well I have been here a week to date. So far I’ve only wrote two letters and both of them have been to you. I feel swell and this hospital was just what I needed. Plenty of sleep and rest still haven’t the slightest idea of how a long I will be here. I have tried to find out but it’s no use. I hope to get to stay a couple of months but I doubt it. I would much rather sweat out the rest of the war in the hospital. Just think 29 months of overseas and then I come down with jaundice. Ha ha, I hope it’s warm when I get out of here.

Some of the Fellows from camp came up yesterday and brought my mail. It would be swell if they would be 19450305b-Lscan-600around here for a while but the 3rd never has such luck. All they know is to keep going ahead.

I’ve been spending most of my time reading and sleeping. We play a little cards now and then and I go two a show in the evening. I could spend the rest of the war here. Because as long as I’m in the hospital I know you won’t worry.

I have quite a few letters to write but I just don’t do it. Maybe I’ll get in the mood an answer all of them one of these days. Better say good-by and you can take your time about writing as I won’t be getting my mail for some time anyway. By by.

Your Son,
“Chick”

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March 5, 1945 – Monday

SONY DSCSame as yesterday. Took a shower. Went to a show. The food is sure terrible. We told the doc about it.

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March 4, 1945 – Sunday

SONY DSCAbout the same as yesterday. Nothing new. The doctor comes in and looks at us. We get our pills every four hours. They took a blood test today also. They take our temperature twice a day.

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March 3, 1945 – Saturday

SONY DSCWe changed our sheets today as they are having an inspection. We played a little cards and I read & slept the rest of the day.

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March 2, 1945 – Friday

SONY DSCSame as yesterday only I feel better and Paul Wilson came in to visit me. He is stationed in Nancy.

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March 1, 1945 – Thursday

SONY DSCSame as yesterday.

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French Legion of Honor Presentation

SAMSUNG CSCOn Friday, February 27, 2015,  Vincent Floreani, Consul General of France in Chicago presented Charles ‘Chick’ Bruns with the Legion of Honor medal. The Legion of Honor is France’s highest distinction and through this award, the French government pays tribute to the soldiers who did so much for France 70 years ago.

SAMSUNG CSCAround 100 people attended the ceremony that was held in the VFW 5520 hall in Champaign, IL where Chick is a Life Member. This VFW was chartered by Chick’s Father-in-law Ralph Fleshner, the father of Rita who is mentioned quite often in the dairy.

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Vincent Floreani & Chick

As part of the ceremony, Champaign Mayor Don Gerard presented Chick the ‘Key to the City'; Jason Staub, VFW Sr. Vice Commander of VFW 5520 shared what it means to have veterans like Chick; and Father David Sajdak from Holy Cross Church where Chick still ushers every Sunday said the invocation & benediction.

The event was covered by many of the local news media. In addition, FOX News carried a live feed during the The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson.

Chick and 2 sons, Chuck & John

Chick and 2 sons Chuck & John

Friends, family and  “people I didn’t even know”  all came to shake Chick’s hand and let them know how much they appreciated him and his service to our country.

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Letter Home – February 28, 1945

19450228a-Lscan-600Dear Mother & Dad;

Well here I am in the hospital I fought it all for quite a while but I was losing weight and everyone said I was crazy for not going to the hospital. I have “Yellow Jaundice” ha, ha. I look like a chinaman. I feel swell and it times I lose my appetite out side of that im okea. I am in a new hospital and they aren’t not really set up good as yet. They treat us swell and have put all of the jaundice cases on a special diet.

There is little I can tell you on how long I will be in the hospital. Just keep sending my mail to the company and they will keep it for me until I get back. You don’t have to 19450228b-Lscan-600write is often as you have been unless you want to. You can make them from long letters instead of V-mail. Tell Gee & the rest of the people that right to me the same way.

Some people say I’ll be here a month and some say longer. So it looks as if I’ll be without mail for some time. You both can quit worrying about me now as I won’t be in combat for a couple of months. Maybe the war will be over by the time I get back to the company.

Paul Wilson was at Dijon but now he has move up to Nancy. He was out two see me, and brought me some magazines. There are a few of the Fellows from the company in this hospital with me so I get to talk to them and it’s not so lonesome.

19450228c-Lscan-600What gripes me the most is that we had been on the line for six months without a saying gold days relief, then we get relieved and I get sick. Boy if that don’t be all. Well anyway I’ll be getting a lot of sleep and a good rest here in the hospital.

Guess this is all for now and you will have to excuse the writing as it’s not easy to write in bed on a magazine. By By & say hello to everyone for me.

Your Son,
“Chick”

If the at any time you can write to me in care of the hospital I’ll let you know. So until then just keep a writing the company.

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February 28, 1945 – Wednesday

SONY DSCThe doctor comes around every day to look at you at 9 o’clock. I felt pretty rough and stayed in bed all day.

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February 27, 1945 – Tuesday

SONY DSCBoy, but they wake you early. 5:30 they woke us up to wash and get ready to eat breakfast. I couldn’t eat much. The doctor came in and looked me over. Said that I would go on a special diet. Stayed in bed all day.

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