One of the funny quirks of trying to memorialize mom’s life is that I have a plethora of cover letters she wrote, because those are one of the few types of documents she carefully saved on her computer. So while I long to find stories of her youth or of the time she spent raising my sister and me in Florida, I am instead stuck with dozens of pleas she wrote when trying to find a job in her sixties.
Here’s one she wrote when applying for a job at the VA, in which she included a sort of disjointed tale of my grandfather, Vincent Albanese:
December 1, 2008
Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center
Human Resources Department
Mr. Moses Campbell
1601 SW Archer Road
Gainesville, Florida 32608
Dear Mr. Moses,
Last week, I visited the Human Resources Department at Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center because I had heard that there were openings in the Human Resources Department.
At that time, I spoke with a gentleman who told me that, without VA preference, I would not be eligible for a position. He also stated that, since no veterans had applied, the department would be opening up the opportunity for those who were from the general public.
I am very interested in the position and am including a copy of my resume with this cover letter. In various positions throughout my working life, I have developed recruiting plans, conducted nearly 200 interviews, and hired nearly 150 persons.
I am very interested in working at Malcolm Randall, partly because my father was a combat decorated veteran from World War II. While a member of Merrill’s Marauders, he earned two purple hearts and one silver star. He seldom spoke of his time in the military; however, when he came home, he went to the enlistment office and had some fun with a colonel. Dad was in the army when the war broke out. The lieutenant who was at the front desk, asked my dad when he had signed up for the draft. My father said he had never signed up. The lieutenant was aghast! He ran into the Colonel’s office ready to slap my father with handcuffs. My father sat back down and waited for about half an hour.
When the Colonel came out, he asked why my father had not signed up for the draft. Needless to say, the lieutenant was red faced, especially when he had to answer the Colonel’s questions.
Kathleen A. Gagne