During the first and second World Wars, “gold star” flags were displayed in the homes of wives and mothers of servicemen who paid the ultimate price of war.

This story is for all of the gold star wives whose husbands never came home.

Chapter 1

June 1946

“Jason, come on. Let’s go.” Janet Lewis called out to her son.

“I’m coming. Will you give me a minute?” he shouted back.

The tone of his voice set her nerves on edge. Oh, you’re skating on thin ice, young man. Why did he have to be so obstinate? The schoolteacher in her knew he was at a crucial age, treading the delicate balance between childhood and adolescence. The mother in her knew he needed a father. It had been a little over two years since his dad had been killed during the invasion of France. His grandfather had been a good role model to be sure, but as with most grandparents, he had a tendency to spoil rather than to discipline.

“Jason, I’m running out of patience.” She stopped to check her appearance in the hall tree mirror and ran her fingers through her dark blonde curls. “The train leaves at ten-fifteen. Your grandfather is here to take us to the station.”

Going over her mental checklist, she walked down the narrow hallway that ran the length of her house and made one last inspection of her small kitchen. The stove and water heater had been turned off. The iron had been unplugged and put away. She had turned the water off under the sink, so that the dripping faucet wouldn’t turn into anything disastrous by month’s end. She wouldn’t be able to afford a plumber until fall when she received her first paycheck of the new school year.

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