Today we honor all of our veterans, past and present. Our founder, “Bronco” Billy Barnes was a WWII Veteran of the War in Europe and brought his love of country and family to his now famous Omaha restaurants. So, today, from all of us here at Bronco’s, we want to say “Thank You” to all our veterans for your service and sacrifice.
This letter was sent to Steve Barnes, the owner of Bronco’s, back in 2002. The writer was Maurice S. of Bellevue, NE. Maurice was a close friend of Steve’s father, and Bronco’s founder, “Bronco Billy” Barnes, and served with Billy in WWII.
The photo was taken by Maurice and shows Bill waving to family and friends back home. It was taken in Marseilles France the day they found out they were actually heading home and the war in Europe had been won.
I’m typing this, using a scanned copy of the handwritten letter. If I misread a word, please forgive me. The letter is such a wonderful note to a son from a war buddy of his dads, we all wanted to share it with you again today.
As I said over the phone, I had two pictures left in my camera when we got to our boat to come home. We had too high combat points so had to wait till low pointers left ahead of us on to the South Pacific. I took a picture of your dad & had one taken of me. I and your dad started out as jeep drivers at Fort Sheridan, Ill. Later on we were allowed to swap positions so I started driving for one of the gun sections (my mistake).
After the second atom bomb was dropped we high pointers started home. When we got discharged at Fort Leavenworth, I and your dad walked out the gate still holding our breath thinking the army might change their mind till we got out in the street. We went straight to the train station. Your dad got a private ride to Omaha for $15 in a car with 4 other soldiers going to Omaha.
I couldn’t get on a train till 4 in the afternoon as I wanted to go to Lincoln where my wife was. Please show the picture to your mother and tell her someone out there still remembers. If I ever get down to Omaha I’ll call you and maybe meet in a convenient place. Harvey S. who worked for the City of Omaha and Bob S. of Bellevue also were with us. Enough of my rambling for now.
Your new friend, Maurice