Born on June 9, 1921 in Boston, of hardy immigrant stock. Mostly Irish, with a dash of Italian, German, and Polish thrown in for good measure. Unremarkable childhood. His father was a factory worker and his mother was a housewife, as was the custom in those days.

While the Quaid family wasn't the strictest of Roman Catholics, it might have been larger had Mrs. Quaid not had trouble conceiving. As a result, there's quite an age gap between him and his sister, who is older by eleven years.

As a child, he was enthusiastic enough in his studies to be accepted to Salem State in 1939. Higher learning did not suit him, however. He dropped out after a semester. Unwilling to learn a trade, he enlisted in the Marine Corps (three square meals a day). He was sent to Parris Island in January, 1940, and later stationed at Quantico as an MP.

He was engaged to a certain Betsy Moore of Virginia.

Received grievous wounds in September 1942 and was sent home. Disfigured, he was last seen alive in June of 1943.

Letters home:

Dear Betsy,
I know we already talked about this before I was reassigned to the West Coast, and just yesterday on the telephone, but I figured I'd write you anyway. A handwritten letter, not a telegraph. By the time you get this, I'll be on a big boat somewhere in the Pacific. Maybe this'll connect us, like that time you made fools out of the both of us by getting your fishing line tangled every which way that time on the pier. God, I miss you so much.
Anyway, I don't really know what I want to say in this letter that we didn't already talk about on the telephone. I suppose I wanted to ask you again to wait for me. I know we already talked about this. Maybe I just wanted to give you something to remember me by, something tangible rather than just some memory something to look at until my return.
Know that I will love you always, and that I'm going to give those Japs hell if it means I can see home, and you, sooner.


August 1942

Dear Mom and Dad,
Not sure when you'll get this letter, but here's hoping the Corps can get it to you in a timely fashion.
The boat ride over was pretty uneventful. Crammed into the ship like sardines. The food they gave us wasn't half bad, better than the canned stuff they're issuing us now. Managed to make a few pals I could talk to, play cards (no, I didn't gamble), and trade magazines to ward off boredom.
We're at an island called Guadalcanal. The weather's been nice so far. There's a breeze here, warm sand, lots of sun. No need to worry about me, Mom, they've got me unloading the supply ship. I haven't had to do any fighting or go on any patrols. All the boys are fighting hard to keep your baby boy safe and sound.
I'm not sure how long it takes to receive mail. I'd appreciate a letter, but hold off on any packages. We could be marching through Tokyo in a few months for all I know.


June 1943

Dear Mom and Dad,
By now I'm sure some officer has informed you of my condition and discharge, so I'd rather not discuss it here. Just know that I fought hard and did my job over there, and I saw how horrible men can be to each other. I suppose I'm paying the price for the pain and suffering I caused others. I try to forget what happened over there to me and to the other boys, but it's impossible. Those memories are maybe even worse than the constant physical pain.
Please give Betsy my love. I can't bear to see her, let alone write her. I've left the letters and telegrams she sent me at the hospital; maybe the Post Office can arrange to have them sent back.
Forgive me for not wanting to see you. I want you to remember me as I was, not as I am now.

Your loving son,

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