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Ova W. Ratliff of Morgan County, Kentucky - His Story

Updated April 5, 2001

About Our Family Research

Ova W. Ratliff, my father, was a school teacher and upstanding citizen of the community of Woodsbend, in Morgan County, Kentucky. He was born there on June 25, 1909. He was the oldest son of Nathan and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Ratliff. He married Hazel G. Davis of Cannel City, Kentucky, also in Morgan County. During the ten years they were married they had 3 children. I am the oldest.

On March 30, 1944 Ova was called to serve his country during World War II. He really didn't want to leave his family, but he went when he was called. During the short 8 month that he was in the Army he wrote 84 letters home chronicling that time in his life.

I have written a book about Ova W. Ratliff's life and in particular about his time in the Army, from his induction to his death. I have put all 84 letters in the book just as they were written, word for word. I let him tell the story. In his letters he described the day to day life, the the physical and mental torment of basic training, at Camp Fannin, Texas. He described the loneliness and torment he felt in being torn away from his family. As you read his letters you can see him gradually being transformed into a soldier. In the last letter written home he said, "We can't move much more for the front line are CLOSE NOW. I can hear the guns NOW". That is what I named the book
"I Can Hear The Guns Now". Private Ova W. Ratliff only lasted one week in that hell on earth. Please look at the books website - WWW.ICANHEARTHEGUNSNOW.COM - for more information about Ova W. Ratliff. COPIES OF THIS BOOK ARE NOW AVAILABLE AT JOSEPH-BETH BOOKSELLERS 161 LEXINGTON GREEN CIRCLE, LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY - PHONE 859-271-5330

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