World War II;Raymond Gillard;Iran;Middle East;Persia
All rights retained by Bryant University
S/Sgt. John W. Gorman [?]
Hq. & Hq. Company, [?]
c/o Postmaster New York, N.Y.
June 4, 1943
Bryant Service Club
I received your very welcome letter a short time ago as well as your very welcome package sent to me as a belated Christmas gift. I am heartily sorry that I was unable to acknowledge their receipt sooner than this, but I hope and trust you folks understand that circumstances beyond my control were the main reasons. However, I do want you all to know that your kind thoughts and best wishes are certainly appreciated by me. Being one of the Bryant Fighting men, as you so aptly put it, I know you understand my position.
Was very much interested in your report as to just what Bryant College, its present and former students, was doing to hasten this end of this terrible carnage. It really makes one proud to be a part of that splendid group. Just continue to keep up the good work, and also please continue to drop a fellow a line as to what various ones are doing. And incidentally, you may be very much interested to know that there is also another former student with me – a fellow from Cranston, R. I., by the name of Raymond Gillard. He graduated in 1937, if I am not mistaken. Both of us are very friendly with each other and goes without saying that a great deal of our conversations revolve around former Bryant happenings and former members of the faculty.
Naturally, you people will be very much surprised to learn that I am located in the far away country of Iran – a country that to us is school was known as Persia. Can you imagine being so far away from all my loved ones and friends at home? However, you may be interested to know that things aren’t too bad – they could be a whole lot worse. Of course I am not permitted to tell too much about the things over here, although I am happy to inform you that the training I received at Bryant is certainly helping very much.
As for this country of Iran, well I must say it is rather peculiar in comparison to what we Americans are used to back in the states. Some of the cities and towns resemble cities and towns back home, but most of the resemblance is on the surface. Although there are many semi-modern buildings and streets, the contrast between modern and medieval is sometimes very striking. You all have seen, I am certain, those long caravans of camels in moving pictures or in books that definitely are associated with the Middle East. Well it is not an uncommon sight to see just such a train wandering down one of the main streets hereabouts. And more often we soldiers get a glimpse of two or three small burros plodding along with a load of sticks, or whatever else could be loaded on a burro’s back, all while dodging in and out of the varied traffic whizzing by. Street cars, subways, and the like are unheard of hereabouts, but there are plenty of automobiles – in fact you would be surprised at the number over here.
As for principal means of public transportation, we find the horse drawn carriage – better known to we soldiers as the “droschky”. They are a common sight throughout the Middle East, and perhaps you have seen pictures of them sometime or other. However, the main fault we Americans find with these “droschkys” is the fact that the driver rarely understands English, especially when on tires to tell him his fee is too high. All in all, though, it does tend to break the monotony - if you get what I mean. Thanks again for your kindness, and write soon.
A Bryant Alumnus,
John W. Gorman, Jr.