August 17, 1941
Sun. 6:15 P.M., 8-17-41
Dear Mom & Dad:
I’m writing this letter from the guard House. Did that scare you? Don’t worry- I’m not in jail. I’m on guard duty, & we have to stick around the guard house for the next 24 hrs. We have 3 shifts of guards that are on duty 2 hrs. & off duty 4 hours. I go on duty from 9 P.M. to 11 P.M.; 3 A.M. to 5 A.M.; 9 A.M. to 11 A.M.; & 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. The time between each shift is spent in the guard house. We have beds to sleep on here, magazines to read, & a radio to listen to, & I hope to catch up on a little back correspondence. We carry our Springfield rifles while walking our posts.
I haven’t your last letter here to answer, so I’ll have to take care of your questions in my next letter. As you have probably deduced I am out of the hospital & back on duty. I was discharged last Thursday morn. Thur. afternoon I was unlucky enough to catch a special detail & they had me out digging black dirt to fill in around our barracks. We are going to plant beans around them to dress them up & to keep the sand from blowing around. The whole camp area here is made up of white & red sand. After this detail work you can bet I was plenty tired. I was in the hospital for 9 days & got pretty soft in that time. However I’m back in shape now & ready to walk guard.
I’ve had quite a few letter[s] to date. I’ve heard from Marian (several times), Dot & Arlo (twice), Swany, Sykes, Lee & Ken Jacobson at the office. And oh yes, I must thank you for the fudge & bars they were really fine. I got the package on Wed. at the hospital. It went plenty fast because I treated all my friends in the ward. We really appreciate cookies & candy down here because we never get anything like that unless we buy it at the Service club.
So far I haven’t spent all of the money I brought with me. We haven’t been paid yet, because we have to wait a month & a half for our first paycheck. I have four dollars left & I’m sure I can make this last. I bought a show ticket book for $1.40 that’s good for 10 shows (14¢ apiece) & I’ve only used one ticket out of it. I was going to a couple of shows over the weekend but you see I caught this guard duty which put the damper on that idea. Just as a side remark here – I’ve been a soldier for exactly one month today.
I haven’t been out of Fort Bragg since I’ve been here. As I think I told you before, every man on entering Bragg is under quarantine for 14 days. During this time he is confined to his regimental area to keep from spreading any disease he may have brought in from outside of the camp. Our quar. Period was over a couple of weeks ago, but I was in the hos. at the time. Some of the boys have been to Fayetteville but don’t seem to think so very much of the town. I guess about every third person on the street is a soldier. Over Labor day we are trying to get a bunch of fellows together to charter a bus for a trip to the coast. This will be fun if we go because I think we’ll get a chance to swim in the ocean. I hear they have some beautiful beaches there.
Bob Coll visited me at the hospital, & I saw him again yesterday when he dropped in to see me in the barracks. He was a tired soldier yesterday. His battery went on a 10 mile hike with full field equip. including the rifle. I guess it was quite a grind, but they did so well on the way out that they were allowed to ride back in the trucks. Coll had K.P. today so he’s probably even more tired by now.
I just walked over to the canteen & got a pint of ice cream & consumed it. Ice cream had never tasted so good to me before I came down here. Everyone here eats a lot of it. The canteens run out almost every nite. That’s where our money goes.
We are going out on the range to fire our rifles, Tuesday. I’m kind of anxious to see how they run the shooting on the range. I’m kind of worried about it because I’ve missed a lot of important classes on the whys & wherefors of firing the rifle. A person is supposed to know all of the firing positions etc., before he goes on the range. Oh well, it wasn’t my fault I was in the hos. so they’ll just have to tell me how to do everything when I get out there.
Well, I’ll soon be going to take my post for a couple of hours of continuous walking, so I think I’ll lay down for a few minutes to store up some energy.
Thanks again for the cookies – correction, I mean fudge. These guards around here are making so much noise that I can’t keep my mind on this letter.
Keep writing – those letters from home keep my spirits up a lot. Sometime my spirits really need some lifting too.
Your loving & lonesome son,