Letters to Claudia by
William "Bill" Puryear
The first thing you noticed about her was her smile. It filled
the room and made those who met her feel better about themselves.
Her natural beauty and warm personality made her immediately popular
in high school, where she was elected senior class president,
Friendliest, and was a candidate for Secretary of the State Beta
Club. At a dance at its State Convention, she met a boy to whom she
felt singularly attracted, as though each had always known or been
searching for the other.
Colleges in distant cities separated them for five years, as she
blossomed into a celebrity, elected by her fellow students as
Homecoming Queen, Most Attractive Coed, Friendliest, and an officer
of every campus group she joined. Her fame spread beyond the campus,
as she was chosen a member of Who’s Who in American Colleges and
A fellow soldier and Bill in a foxhole
Yet through it all, she remained true to her first love, who
traveled to the far side of the world to learn by hard experience
who he was. During that time apart, the only representatives of his
love for her were the almost daily letters he wrote from the front
line in Korea, Japan, and various hard training camps. These are
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