Be Seein’ You (Eventually)

Monday 7 Jan. ‘46



Dear folks,

Mon. afternoon again. I started to write last night but gave it up as I wasn’t in a very good frame of mind. I don’t know how much you’ve heard about what’s been happening the last couple days but I’ve heard more than enough. It was enough Sat. to know empty ships were leaving but that wasn’t all. First our “friend” Patterson tells the press he thinks we are still accruing points. That’s fine. Points were frozen Sep. 2 and there’s been no recount since. That shows us just how much our “leaders” know about things. If he were right I’d have 54 instead of 46 which would make all the difference in the world right now. They sit there and set critical scores and what have-you and they don’t even know how the points are derived. That wasn’t too bad, after all we are used to ignorance at the top. But then Sat. night I’m listening to the radio and what do I hear. We have enough shipping to bring everybody home but it can’t be done for lack of suitable replacements. That’s a new one they must have just dragged out of the hat. They kicked this word “eligibility” and the phrase “no ships” around until it wouldn’t hold any more so now they dug up a new one. As a result the dropping of points & length of service for discharge must be slowed down. The anticipated drop to 45 points or 3 years service on Feb. 1 is too much, it will have to be less. I heard it Sat. night and yesterday morning it was in the paper, so naturally we all felt pretty good about the whole thing. That means about 65 of us in this outfit alone won’t be eligible unless it’s dropped to 45 but it’s not just us, it means everybody on down is stuck for even longer. The draft law has never been repealed. They got plenty of 18 year olds for replacements during the war and if it’s replacements they want then they can keep it up. Evidently there is a lot of pressure by parents back there against a peace time draft. I don’t know how you feel about it but personally I’m in favor of it for the next 2 or 3 years. The average kid between 18 and 19 doesn’t accomplish much during that year anyway. If he’s through with the army at 19 or 20 he still has plenty of time for school or anything else he wants. Why should we who have already has 2 ½ to 3 ½ years of this be made to stay in just to shelter them? We have a whole lot more at stake than they certainly. Most of us came in from school, we’ve never had a decent job and a lot won’t return to school. We’ll get back, no jobs, no nothing. The majority of the boys I know are in about my position, although I’m a little older. We had one raw deal in the beginning and now they are handing us another. Naturally I have a selfish interest but I’m thinking of the fellows after us and I hope the fellows already home haven’t forgotten us. They are the biggest force we have. Even if they only drop the score 2 or 3 points a month it will get me by March 1 but the boys in the lower brackets are really hurting. A week ago we expected to be on our way home by about Jan. 20. There are shipping spaces for 68,000 men arriving this week and no men. I’m telling you it’s really heart breaking. I know I shouldn’t write this way but I may as well express my feelings. I have never in three years seen morale so low. Still there isn’t complete discouragement. Overnight one of the smoothest organized campaigns I’ve ever seen has come into existence. Cablegrams, telegrams & letters by the thousands are going to congressmen and senators. Today by some quirk of fate a Congressional investigating committee is arriving in Manila. I don’t know if they realize it or not but they are due for a real welcome. Tonight all the troops in Manila are having a meeting for their benefit to express to them just how we feel about things. It may do us a lot of good if it’s held in check but if a few drunks and hot heads get out of hand it can do plenty of harm. It’s well organized and I think it will come off all right. I hope so as it’s about all we can do to help ourselves. Congress and 1/3 of the senate are up for election in Nov. and there’ll be plenty of changes if something isn’t done. It’s time we had men in who knew what was happening.

Well enough of that. Otherwise nothing new. Sat. night I saw “See Here Private Hargrove” which I had seen in Maxey & last night “Weekend at the Waldorf” which I had only seen twice before. Tonight it’s the story of Dorian Gray – a new one which is supposedly pretty good. Before the movie our section is having a little party again. We got a turkey from the mess hall and yesterday they bought ½ dozen chickens so we are having a barbeque. We may as well enjoy ourselves when we can I guess. No mail this morning but I did get a letter from Lillis yesterday. They wonder why they haven’t heard from me but I don’t feel like writing. All you run into is this “Joe is home” and “Bill’s coming home” and “When will you be home” business. I feel low enough as it is or hadn’t you guessed.

Well folks that’s all I have to say & probably too much so I’ll close and get this pile of “junk” on my desk taken care of. So long & be seein’ you (eventually)


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