A story of dedication and love. A young man graduates from Princeton: He's a freshly-minted second lieutenant with dreams and aspirations for his future. He gets married and ships off to an international conflict-zone, and within months he is promoted to Battery Executive Officer. During his tour of duty in Korea he writes 171 love letters to his new bride. These letters sparkle with humor and devotion, but as the months progress, the letters also reveal a growing maturity both as a leader and as a husband. Love Letters from the Front will inspire anyone facing hardship and challenge that those ordeals can fortify character and produce fresh leadership strength.

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Love Letters from the Front

LLFTF-300In 1952 I was ordered to Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

image3For several years, the Korean War had been a powerful magnet, continually demanding the replenishment of more and more men.
Being a 2nd Lt. in those days was certainly not a job with a safe future, and many made the ultimate sacrifice.

Upon graduation from Princeton, I qualified for an officer's commission, but had never intended to serve on active duty, nor was I eager for a career in the military.

Besides, I was newly married, and like all young couples, Lucy and I anticipated a bright future.
The good news is that my orders for Korea came only a few weeks before the start of the ceasefire, so the dangers there were greatly diminished.

The bad news was that Korean duty demanded an immediate and lengthy separation from my new bride, the love of my life.

During our nearly year-long separation, I wrote Lucy almost every day. She kept my letters, numbered them, and stashed them away in an old shoebox. I also took along my 8-mm movie camera, and whenever possible, I chronicled the story of my service.

After a career in business and local politics, I've come to realize that the leadership lessons I encountered near the 38th parallel, have proved foundational to many good things in my life.

image6Love Letters from the Front tells the story of those leadership lessons through my correspondence to Lucy. The videos on this website are meant to supplement the print version of the book. But they also stand alone.

Hope you enjoy them.

Bill MacIlvaine, August 2014