Bernard and Selma were childhood friends. Both of their families were Jewish immigrants living in Portland, Oregon. After high school graduation in 1943, Bernard was drafted in the army. He was accepted in the Army Specialized Training Program and sent to Oklahoma A&M College to study engineering.

Then the war escalated, and the college programs were shut down. Bernard found himself dodging bullets during training and walking with full gear and forty pounds on his back. After his boot camp training, he was sent to Camp Howze in Texas. From there, Bernard was sent to the front lines in France and Germany.

His unit helped liberate Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany in 1945. Bernard and Selma continued their love story and married after the war. They were together for seventy-two wonderful years and have three children. Bernard became a successful optometrist with a private practice in Salem, Oregon, for more than fifty years. He lives in Portland, on the south waterfront within view of his childhood home and neighborhood.

Title by Bernard D. Brown

  • by Bernard D. Brown

    They fell in love through their letters. Between 1941 and 1945, Bernard wrote a total of 246 handwritten letters to Selma. Writing daily to his childhood friend Selma from army college in Oklahoma, boot camps in Georgia and Texas, and the WWII front lines in France and Germany, a teenage Bernard’s letters chronicled the young infantryman’s experience during WWII. Their young love flourished amidst the background of Bernard’s war experiences. “Fate is on our side” is a recurring theme as Bernard never faltered in his belief that he would safely return to Selma’s arms. Proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House at the Rood Family Pavilion in Portland, Oregon.