From the day I entered the Army until I was honorably discharged I kept a diary. It was not the usual diary: no leather cover, no gold lettering, no tiny gold pen. No, my diary was written on any available scrap of paper, including that peeled from corrugated cartons that once contained hospital supplies. I recorded events during punishing rides in the back of an ambulance, at the end of 15-20 hour day-nights in the shock ward, with cold fingers warmed over a candle, or in the pervading dampness of a dug-in tent.
Before my mother's death she gave my husband a shabby cardboard box saying, "June might be interested in this." Thinking it unimportant he stashed it in the basement. Years later I discovered the box which contained my letters home. Only when a computer became available did I organize the diary entries and letters into chronological order. It was an auspicious time to consider publishing a book. The old inequalities between men and women were being dragged into the open and discussed, laws were being written, and Women's Studies were being introduced in colleges.
The unedited, unaltered thoughts and emotions expressed in this book date from October 1942 through October 1945. Only one letter has been added from 1959.