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Victor Nelson, of rural Cordova, Illinois, posed for this official photo as a member of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I.

Someone thought enough of it to donate it to a museum.

A museum volunteer thought enough of it to dig it out of a box and read every word.

And Quad-City Times reporter Alma Gaul thought enough of it to share it with readers.

Today's Big Story is about a Cordova, Illinois farmer — Victor Nelson — and his no-doubt surreal experience of traveling from the corn fields of Rock Island County to the battlefields of France during World War I.

Nelson regularly wrote letters to at least one of his seven siblings, and the sister stored all his missives in a scrapbook, along with newspaper clippings and other mementos of the time. It would appear from the collection of documents that Nelson reserved for one of his brothers the details of being shot.

From Nelson's words to his sister's careful record of his experience, readers are privy to a local family's experience during some of the nation's darkest days, beginning on B1.

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