You May Not Like Broccoli

Wed. Mar. 29, 1944

7:40 p.m.


Dear folks,

Another day finished. This one was a little better than yesterday. I shaved last night and then got to bed. I was up as usual this morning. After reveille I made up my bed. For breakfast I had eggs, bread, butter, Wheatena (I believe), milk, and an orange. After breakfast we cleaned up everything and policed up the state. I was in a goldbricking mood this morning so I decided to go on sick call and see what they had to say about my wrist. We fell out at 7:30 and went down to the dispensary. It froze ice here last night, and the wind just about blew thru us this morning. We were down there until 9:30 or so. The Capt. or Dr. said the same thing just about that the old boy said in Ark. He felt it all over and said nothing is wrong except I have strained the ligaments and he called it a chronic strain. Sounds good. He had a fellow bind it up tight as a sort of brace and he gave me some liniment so that’s that. I guess I just have a weak wrist. We got back and put on our equipment – light packs and gas masks and hunted up our group. We took our time and finally found them at the Recreation Hall. I managed to miss an hour of drill and a health lecture. We had more health stuff from 10 to 11 and then an hour on the 45 cal. pistol before we came in for dinner. I had corned beef, potatoes, kidney beans, salad, bread, butter, and fruit salad. At mail call I got your Sat. –Sun. letter & read it before we loaded up and fell out again at 12:50. We had one more hour on the pistol. Then we had 2 hours on Chemical Warfare. We had just a general lecture & practiced gas mask drill. Then they exploded chloropicrin, phosgene, lewisite, and nustard so we could learn the odors. Wow. Some of that stuff is really potent. I didn’t get anymore of any of it that I had to but I knew it was there. It makes my eyes water. The mustard almost smells good, the chloropicrin is sickening and the phosgene is sort of choking. We will go through the gas chamber pretty soon. They use chlorine in it. I don’t mind it much. I’m used to breathing it in Chem. lab. It is supposed to help a cold if you have one. It gives the feeling of a chest cold itself. At 4 we had an hour of so-called physical hardening instead of bayonet drill. I like it better but at the end of an hour I’m rather tired. We did all kinds of exercises and then ran about ¼ mile through the woods. At 5 we came in for the day. I got right on the ball & cleaned off my equipment. For supper I had potatoes, peas, salad, bread, butter, and cake. After supper I shined my shoes, cleaned out my rifle, wrote a message (our assignment for tonight) and then changed clothes. At 6:50 they let a group of us go to the P.X. so I finally mailed my laundry out. I got my dry cleaning and some cookies and ice cream. I came back and ate and here I am. A group can go to the last show at 8:40. Its 8 now so maybe I’ll go. I don’t know how it will be tomorrow night. We have night problems Thurs. & Fri. nights. We eat supper out tomorrow night and dinner & supper Fri. so we hear. So I may not be able to write much if any. We’ll see.

Now to your letter – I don’t expect to vote. I never have so I don’t see any sense in fooling with it now. Since I haven’t voted it requires more red tape than I want to bother with. I have all of your letters up to date again now. I guess spring hit a detour. It is warmer tonight again but this Texas weather is unreliable. When the sun shines the wind blows, when it doesn’t shine well you know what happens. It seems rivers of water fall in no time. There are ditches all over and in 5 minutes they can be filled up like creeks. Snow in March isn’t too unusual for Michigan though. Babe has a good dog’s life. Such a life as I’m living I wouldn’t [be] letting mine dog be living. Yah! This is no life. At least it doesn’t fill any definition of true life as I see it. It’s merely an existence. Oh we are having it good now. They tell us every time we turn around how rough they’ve had it on maneuvers and stuff. Sometimes I wonder & I do a powerful lot of thinking about things. All I can do is let things take their course. So far I’ve been taken care of pretty well. Oh I’ve had little tastes of the not so easy, but not too much. I don’t know. Maybe if I did I’d wish I didn’t. It’s probably good we can’t see the future. You may not like broccoli. I eat it as something to eat. It’s a lot better than turnip greens or raw endive salad. They used to serve endive cut up like lettuce as a salad at school. Was it bitter! I haven’t been told for rust but I’m afraid there’s some in the barrel. I used bore cleaner tonight but it still didn’t all come out. I’m afraid there won’t be any time for me to relax & enjoy spring fever. My head isn’t shaved. I have a short cut but it still looks human I believe. I imagine Marie does a lot of worrying. He really got a pretty rough deal all right. She hadn’t heard from him for 4 weeks. There won’t be any labor draft until after Nov. I wonder how many fellows actually are fighting for freedom. Most of them are merely fighting the enemy with the same spirit they put into football or everything they do so they can go home. That’s what everyone is thinking – “Let’s get it over so we can go home & stay.” Maybe that is freedom after all. Nobody will ransack any homes yet. I wish I could slip in from a show some night and stay. It all is so “I don’t know what” when one stops to think. It sort of knocks the bottom out of your stomach and everything else at times. You’ve done a good job of keeping your best foot forward. Just keep it up for me. See! Julius is a lot like you in a lot of ways. He’s sincere all right. He’s too set in his way to agree with anybody just to get along or sound agreeable. Well that’s today & your letter. It’s about 8:30 so I think I’ll go to the last show. So for tonight,



Arlington A.A.

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