August 9, 1941

2 P.M. Sat., 8-9-41

Dear Mom & Pop:

                It seems like months now since I’ve been home altho I guess really it’s only been 3 weeks. Things pop so fast around here that it makes one feel as though he’s been a soldier all his life. I got your letter on the 6th & was I ever glad to get it – my first one. That’s the only letter I’ve gotten so far altho I did get one of those giant postcards from Dot & Arlo. I’m telling you, getting a letter down here is the best thing that happens to us. If you doubt it you should see the boys at mail call – they go wild. I’ve done more letter-writing since I’ve been here then I’ve done before in my whole life. I’ve sent out about 8 letters & about the same number of penny postcards. I can almost classify my postcards as letters, because I cram on about 150 words. I’ve written most of these letters & cards since I’ve been in the hospital because we don’t have as much time in camp. But before you start worrying I guess I’d better explain how I got here in the hospital.

                Last Tues. morning I awoke with a bad cold accompanied by a headache & slight fever. Our battery was to go on an overnite maneuver that day. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it, so I went over to the dispensary to be put on the sick list. When the doc. discovered I had a fever he asked me if I thought I could stand a couple days rest. I said I could & expected him to confine me to my barracks for a couple of days. Was I surprised when he told me to go & gather up my toilet articles & get ready to go to the hospital! I didn’t care about the idea when he told me but now that I’m in I don’t care to go back to work again. Boy do we have it nice here. First of all, we have good meals & up until yesterday, they served them to me in bed. Now that I’m well I have to walk over to the hos. mess hall. (Walking over there 3 times a day is the only work we do) We have a radio here & can get good swing music most of the day. All we do is lay around & rest & read & write. Oh yes & we have our pulses read every couple of hours by pretty little brunette nurses. Now do you wonder why I don’t care to go back? There are a lot of fine fellows in our ward too – we sit around & chat a lot. It’s quite a relief to get away from some of those tough cussing sargents. Almost forgotten I’m in the army.

                Your letter took 3 days to get to me & that was airmail so I imagine it takes forever for regular mail to go through. I would have answered your letter sooner but you see I got it here in the hospital & wasn’t quite up to par at that time. I laughed over that part about insuring my exposure meter for $15 bucks. – I think I paid about $1.50 for it. That’s O.K. tho, we’ll charge the other $13.50 up to sentimental value. I’m surely glad that you have insured my camera because, altho we have foot lockers to keep our things in, I will want to use it on hikes & things like that. There’s plenty of chance to have things stolen around here. I haven’t had a chance to use my camera yet but I will soon.

                Say, you mentioned that I might like to have a paper sent down here. I haven’t much time to read one but it certainly would be swell if you would send me a Star Journal every other week. I’d like to know what good ole Cedric is up to. By the way, one of these days I might have use for my swimming suit, so if you’d send it I’d appreciate it.

                We new boys can’t get passes to leave the camp for 14 days after our arrival. We are under quarantine for that length of time until we have our 3 shots. This is to prevent any boys from spreading any contagious diseases they might have acquired on the outside.

                How did you come out on your vacation? You didn’t mention it in your letter so you had better write again & tell me all about it. I ‘spose Daddy & Elmer were out on the lake all day as usual hauling in sunfish & crappies by the carloads.

                Boy! I just got back from chow & found 4 letters waiting for me. I didn’t know I was so popular. I got one from you, Marian, Sykes, & a fellow from the office that’s being drafted. It’s wonderful getting all the news.

                I’ll try to answer some of those questions of yours in this last paragraph. – Yes, I found Bob Coll. I accidentally met him at the Service Club after searching everywhere for him. We get together nights. – We have a steel trunk (foot locker) that locks, to keep our things in. We keep some of our clothes in it, but those we wear most are kept on hangers at [the] head of our bunks. I have 6 shirts & 3 prs. Of kaki pants – lots of underwear & sox. We sweat so much that it’s a problem making things last from one laundry day to the next. We have a camp laundry here that does all the work we can send for $1.50 a month. We send & receive once a week & the money is deducted from our pay whether we send or not so every one does, & plenty. – We have a few flies down here but as yet I haven’t seen one mosquito – that’s something. You asked me about special work. I don’t think there’s anything I can do about that right now. Of course we do exactly what we’re told down here & have to like it. But maybe when my 13 weeks of basic training are over I’ll have a chance to express my choice of special work. I hope so. We ask a lot of questions about these things but never get a definite answer. I’m running low on space so good by. Hope your still O.K.

Your lonesome son


Christian Olsen