Letters From War
Hundreds of letters, written between brothers fighting in the Pacific during World War II. Almost one a day, for every day of the war. In this podcast, you’ll hear the story of these brothers — the Eyde brothers — and of World War II, as told through their letters, in their own words. Bringing the letters to life are modern U.S. military veterans. At key moments in the story, we’ll talk to them about how these letters compare to their own experiences — what’s universal about war and what’s changed. And why everyone who picks up these letters feels like the Eyde brothers become a part of their family.
The Eyde brothers continued writing each other long after the end of the war. In their letters over the next decades, it’s clear that their experiences in the war changed the course of their lives in dramatic, and in very different, ways.
Discussion: Part II
The voice actors join Dan to discuss the second half of the story, and how those in the armed services are shaped by their experiences with war.
1944-1945: The end
Back at home, Ralph and Frank struggle to recover and readjust to civilian life. Meanwhile, as the Allies move towards victory, John’s role in the war is just about to begin.
Frank has seen his first combat, as Ralph and John prepare for their own deployments. Facing war has the brothers engaged in intense battles -- both physical and mental.
Discussion: Part I
The actors in this podcast are all veterans themselves. They join Dan to discuss their experiences reading the letters, and what is universal about the story of the Eyde family.
1942: The start
With the country at war, the Eyde brothers await their fates. Frank and Ralph inch closer to action, as they anxiously try to keep younger brother John away from the front lines.
1941: The calm
Meet the Eydes, four brothers from Rockford, Ill., living through the Great Depression. Even with two away at basic training, and Adolf Hitler’s conquest of Europe well underway, war still seemed a remote possibility. Until the unthinkable.
About a year ago, a man in Mesa, Ariz. emailed The Washington Post saying he had hundreds of letters written by a single family during World War II. When reporter Dan Lamothe began reading them, he couldn’t put the letters down.