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To Gladys Chambers Bandony
March 24, 1945 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Mrs. Bandony:
I have your letter of 13 March, and I can well understand your intense desire to have your son returned home. I am distressed that you should be having such a hard time.1
The Government has made a very determined effort to provide for the dependents of American soldiers. Only in most exceptional cases, such as extreme illness or the maintenance of large families, has it been possible to approve discharges on the grounds of dependency.
The prosecution of the war demands tremendous sacrifices from the men who are serving overseas. They not only have the hazards and hardships of battle but the natural concern for their loved ones at home. For this reason we are deeply concerned over cases such as yours, particularly because of its effect on the soldier, and we have depended necessarily on the Red Cross to examine into the family situation where requests for dependency discharge have been made. The Selective Service boards are also our advisors in such matters. I suggest that you discuss your situation with the local Red Cross official who will certainly give you every consideration.
I repeat again that it is of the greatest importance to the morale of the Army that the soldiers be strongly supported in spirit by those at home. The war has been demanding a constantly increasing sacrifice by everybody in the nation, and under the circumstances it is exceedingly difficult to make exceptions without automatically affecting hundreds of thousands of soldiers, which we cannot afford to do.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Mrs. Bandony, a widow living alone in New York City, wrote to request that her son, an infantryman in Germany, be discharged because she was in poor health and “living on the sole income of $50. per month.” (Bandony to Marshall, March 13, 1945, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, General].)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 100-101.