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Letters from the CBI

by Lt. Louis J. Forster and Robert L. Forster

An old shoebox sat near a pile of photos on the kitchen table. Inside, beneath a layer of dust lay hundreds of letters lovingly tied up in bundles. Robert Forster and his siblings, tasked with cleaning our their parents’ home after their passing, immediately knew these must be the letters their dad, Lieutenant Louis “Jack” Forster, had sent to their mom, Gloria, while deployed to the China-Burma-India Theater in World War II. These letters detail a soldier’s journey to the far reaches of the globe where few Americans had fought. They convey his suffering, sacrifice, and dedication in the face of danger, when all he wanted was to return home to marry his sweetheart. His journey was unique, as were his contributions to history in this forgotten theater of World War II. Letters from the CBI not only tells a love story between a soldier in the throes of danger far from home and his future wife, it also reveals a son who discovers a new, intimate side of his father. A heartfelt and honest tribute to a soldier’s struggle to maintain connection and closeness with the world he leaves behind for war, its hopeful message will withstand the test of time.

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