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Four siblings wrote hundreds of letters to each other during World War II. The story they tell of service, sacrifice and trauma was hidden away in an abandoned storage unit — until now.

The storage unit’s corrugated metal door slid upward, revealing 100 square feet of mostly empty space. Not very promising, thought Joe Alosi, a businessman who bid on units, sight unseen, when tenants stopped paying the rent. Several plastic bins sat in the middle of the floor, and dust billowed as Alosi peeled off the first lid.

Inside, tightly packed, were rows of envelopes. Alosi opened one, and then another, and then another. The Marine Corps veteran felt a slight chill.

The mostly handwritten letters, on tissue-thin paper, dated to World War II and were penned mostly by the members of a single family — the Eydes of Rockford, Ill. Three brothers were in the military: one in the Marine Corps, one in the Army and one in the Army Air Forces.

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War correspondence

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Letters from World War II: The abandoned history of four brothers …

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