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To Mrs. Raymond E. Lee
July 13,  [Washington, D.C.]
Dear Mrs. Lee,
I received your letter of July tenth and was much concerned to learn of what had been happening to Lee. I took the matter up personally with the Surgeon General to the end that another month’s sick leave is now proposed.1 I hope that this additional rest will give him an opportunity to relax, after which we can determine what character of duty he can best perform.
My experience of the past four years, the last two in particular, has convinced me that the hardest job is to prevail upon certain individuals to stop worrying. With the best intentions in the world they continue to worry and of course with unfortunate results. My own fear has been that in time they would get me down and I would commence to worry about the progress we are not making, the criticisms of what we are doing, and so forth. Fortunately for me, up to the present time I have been able to go along and do my best and not give much of a damn beyond that. However, I recognize that once one starts to worry it does not help much even to realize it is bad to worry. The complaint is very difficult to control, and I imagine that your part in this will be of great importance.
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. Jeanette Lee had written that her husband, who had been assistant chief of staff, G-2, between February 1 and May 4, 1942, was on sick report due to overwork following his completion of training a brigade at Fort Bragg, and she was afraid that a medical board would force him to retire. “I understand the regulations, and the summary manner in which these boards can operate. But it is inconceivable to me that such an experienced soldier should be dispensed with as readily as a draftee . . . If he had a chronic condition such as heart trouble, I would not write but as it is, I know that he can do full duty if summary action is not heedlessly taken. I am, therefore, writing for this much consideration—could General Lee have enough time to get really fit before going before a medical board, or could he be put on some sort of duty for a month or so that would take his situation into account?” Marshall sent Mrs. Lee’s letter to Surgeon General Norman T. Kirk, who observed that Lee’s diagnosis was: “Anxiety neurosis, severe, with marked depression. It is believed that ultimately he will have to appear before Retiring Board. Will never be fit for general duty in command capacity; might be able to perform limited duty.” (Lee to Marshall, July 10, 1943, and Kirk Memorandum for Marshall, July 13, 1943, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, General].) Lee did not retire until the end of February 1946.
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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 58-59.