I Don’t Like to March With Rifles

Still Tuesday Feb. 16, 1943

About 7:30 or so


Dear folks,

Whew! I got that box and everything was just swell but that’s too doggone much money to pay for postage. $1.68 that’s awful. I know you can’t afford to do it. I appreciate very bit, the candy bars, the candy boxes, cookies, dates, stationery and stamps. That stationery is swell. It’s similar to what I had at McCoy. All I can say to all of you is thanks.

I hope the other letter I wrote this afternoon didn’t scare you too much but I wanted to get it out just in case we should be rigidly quarantined. After I finished writing the letter I shaved, washed and cleaned my teeth. Then came supper. It was a little early tonight. We had spaghetti, peas, rice and biscuits. I went back and got more of each. I am a real chow hound I guess. After supper I came back and repacked my stuff. We may be leaving Sat. I ordered 10 candy bars by the cook but I don’t need them now. I can always sell them though. A fellow was selling 5 cent bars for 10 cents tonight. You must have scoured the candy market in Lansing. They had mail call tonight in the day room because it was raining but I didn’t know about it so I stayed in the barracks. Don Ewing from Lansing brought me my mail – the box and 2 letters from McCoy. One was a card from Gramp himself and the other was your letter of Wed. Feb. 3. That leaves one more to come yet from McCoy. I didn’t get any direct from you to me here tonight. Maybe you mailed one not air mail like you said. I read the letter and looked at the card first. Then I opened the box. Francois was my shadow and had to see everything like a little kid. I haven’t opened the hearts yet but I promised him a piece of candy. Don Ewing is looking at the papers. He is from Lansing too. I went through my bag and discarded the papers I have read. I have about two weeks yet to read. It is pretty expensive for you to send them all this way. Wouldn’t they come cheaper if you sent them maybe one or two a week and just rolled up with a piece of paper wrapped around. I think you can send them for about 3 cents that way. I don’t want you folks to spend more than you can afford on me. After all you folks are just as important as I am and I know you aren’t flush with money. Boy are those dates good. The one Zag Nut bar was slightly broken so I ate it right away. I’ll have enough stationery for awhile now. I’m all set thanks, thanks, thanks. You know if I wrote home and asked for the radio I think you’d send it. All I do is mention things and I get them. You don’t know how good it makes me feel. I’ll bet I’ve cost twice as much away from home as I did at home. Please don’t go too far with it though. I realize how your conditions are and I don’t expect it. $1.68 is an awful lot of postage to pay.

Gramp sent a cute card and he wrote it himself. I finally got your Feb. 3 letter telling you got my Sun. & Mon. letters and cards from McCoy. I had been wondering if maybe the cards had been too heavy to go free and I’m glad you got them O.K. I’ll probably get the last letter from McCoy tomorrow. This one was p.m. at Lansing Feb. 4 – 11:30 a.m. and at McCoy Feb. 6 – 6 p.m. It took 10 days for it to get here from McCoy. It took Gramp’s card the same length of time. That isn’t very doggone fast either. Today is the first day I haven’t gotten an air mail letter since I got the first one last Sat. The ones I got last night were written Thurs. last. I read your letters pretty fast the first time too and sometimes miss things but I catch them the second time through. So pop is your sansilk buyer now. I really do like it here if we were not confined. The country is pretty and today has been the first rainy day in a week. This must be a fruit growing region because there are orchards all around and we ran on to several berry patches on our maneuvers yesterday. We didn’t go out in the fields today. I think it is probably nicer here than down near Frisco. They say it is foggy and damp down there. The fellow who had the measles came back tonight. He was in the hospital at Frisco and stopped at Vallejo last night on his way home. He says it is all swell down there. Did dad have to stand in the rain to wait for the bus? Couldn’t he have stood in a store? Gramp was at Los Angeles I believe and then he went on north into Canada on his way home. I don’t think the fellows ever picked on that other fellow. He was just going off gradually. Some of the things he did showed that. I know what you mean but you didn’t know him and what he did. I don’t know where they would get a picture of me to put anywhere. My picture wasn’t taken for the Wolverine if you’ll remember. It must have been someone else. Nate didn’t get all A’s I know. I’m not holding my breath till I get a pay raise. A Pfc. (private first class) gets only $54 a month. He has one stripe. I have some soap powder left yet but most of it is in a sack. It spilled out on the trip. I had everything in one bag and it was pretty heavy. I am going to divide it into the two bags this time and see if it is any easier. There will be more weight because I’ll be carrying my overcoat instead of wearing it. I have and will save all the magazines you send. I want to keep Red’s picture. It will go good on the wall with Harry James. I wish I could play a little tennis someday. Maybe I’ll be able to when I get a pass. To me a postcard doesn’t carry a lot [of] meaning unless it is a picture card. It looks as if the person is in too big a hurry to write. I’ll admit I feel that way when I write a card to people. I hope Gramp has written to you by now. I don’t know if I’ll ever be a p.f.c. or not. I don’t think I’ll ever make much of a soldier but I might make good on a technical job. It’s hard to tell. I don’t mind the marching but I don’t like to march with rifles.

Well that covers the day’s activities and my mail This letter has been split in two installments but I wanted to make sure you would know why you didn’t hear from me in case I had to quit writing. Thanks again to everyone for everything in that swell box. Keep writing and I’ll write as often as I can. Mail must be slow to take 10 days from McCoy here. The first ones only took 7 days. Well I guess this is it for tonight. Until next time thanks and love to all of you.




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