Bernard Brown '49, OD '50 Publishes World War II Love Letters
From 1941 to 1945, Bernard Brown '49, OD '50 wrote 246 letters from the front lines of World War II to Selma, the woman who would become his wife.
Now, those letters are a new book, Dear Selma: A World War II Love Letter Romance, compiled by Brown and his daughter.
"I always knew my parents fell in love over the letters they exchanged while my father was in the army during World War II but I didn’t realize the details of their enduring long-distance relationship until I sat down and read each one," wrote daughter Shelley in the introduction. "When my mother passed away in 2017 my siblings and I helped my dad move out of our family home in Salem, Oregon. It was then that we started reading the letters and realized what a treasure we had. As the Americans took Germany, my father was on the front lines fighting from fox holes. It’s chilling to think that each letter could have been his last. I want to believe that these letters gave my dad the drive and determination to get through the war and back to the woman he had known most of his life and was now falling in love with. I hope you enjoy the heartfelt expressions of a young man (really a boy), homesick but also determined to fulfill his duty. We dedicate this book to all those who didn’t make it back."
Brown did make it home, married the love of his life and started a family. He also attended Pacific University, earned his optometry degree, and started a thriving practice. He has established a scholarship for veterans to attend the Pacific University College of Optometry. His story was featured in the Spring 2019 issue of Pacific magazine. Read and watch it below, and find "Dear Selma" wherever books are sold.