Mother found out about the details of the allotment from a reliable source and it only made her despise Paddy more than she already did. First of all, Himself got drafted into the Army at his age because he had deserted his family and he had never made an attempt to contribute anything to their welfare.
There were records from when Mother had taken Paddy to court to try to get child support from him. And the Army had access to these records. He had not only refused to pay child support, but when the judge ordered him to get a job and pay his fair share; he said he would quit the job rather than pay child support. The judge at that time told my Mother that he was just no good and that she would never get anything out of him.
That’s why when we started receiving the allotment, not only was Mother shocked but we were all surprised. Although what she found out didn’t surprise her. It seems when Paddy was drafted and the Army officials told him why they were drafting him at his age, he wasn’t happy about it. He asked that his allotment be sent home to his mother who would put it in savings for him when he got out of the service.
The Army however had other ideas, they told Paddy that they were sending his allotment to his wife and children who desperately needed it. He would get a small stipend to use for himself. Unfortunately for us, Paddy wasn’t in the Army long enough. We were hoping for at least two years.
The end of the war was rapidly approaching when he went into the Army and much to our chagrin, he was being discharged too soon. That’s what it seemed like to us at least. He was in the service about one year.
The war in Europe came to a close on May 8, 1945 and there was celebrating in the world. Victory in Europe was called, V-E Day . I was fourteen then and Anna was sixteen. We were in high school and very independent then. That night, Anna and I and several of our friends piled into a truck belonging to one of Anna’s boyfriends and drove to the next town where there was a town square and we joined with hundreds of other people who were singing and yelling and kissing and even dancing. Music was coming from a band in the middle of the square. We stayed there until the wee hours of the morning, and then had breakfast at an all night diner and went home. It was a happy time, especially so for the families who had husbands and sons coming home.
In the time Paddy was in the service, we for the most part were enjoying life more than we ever had before. We were receiving his allotment and Mother was working several days a week. Even Anna had a part-time job and was contributing to the family. Things were really looking up for us for the first time in a long time.
To be continued.