This article was written by Walter Lockard’s granddaughter, Kathryn
(Kate) Thomas, as a project for one of her classes at the University
of Florida. It was then published in the St. Petersburg Times on
November 11, 1981 in honor of Armistice Day.
When she interviewed his wife, Marie Lockard, about the story, she
found out that the letters were to be destroyed. Walter did not want
anyone to read them after his mother passed away. He tossed them in
the trash, but Marie rescued them. In honor of his wish, she
only used his first and middle name in the article to protect his
When this website was being created, Kate added the footnotes to the
article so that the original quotes could be found in the letters.
(Click on the red footnote number in the article to see the footnote text). Due
to transcription, some of the paragraphs may not break at the same
place that they did when Kate wrote the footnotes. We apologize if some of the footnotes may not
match up exactly with the letter, but the dates of the letters are correct.
We also apologize to our grandfather—we know he said he did not want
anyone to read these letters, but we felt that the content was so
fascinating that we could not keep it to ourselves!