Dear Ma and Pa,
I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother
Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch
by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the
places are filled.
I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till
nearly 6 a.m. but I am getting so I like to sleep late.
Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth
your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to
pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically
nothing. Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there's
Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal,
eggs, bacon, etc. but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham,
steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food, but tell
Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that
live on coffee. Their food plus yours holds you till noon when
you get fed again. It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much.
We go on "route marches," which the platoon sergeant says are
long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it's not my place
to tell him different. A "route march" is about as far as
to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and
we all ride back in trucks.
The country is nice but awful flat.
The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The
Captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just
ride around and frown. They don't bother you none.
This next one will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I
keep getting medals for shooting. I don't know why. The
bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don't move,
and it ain't shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home.
All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it.
You don't even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.
Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training.
You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real
careful though, they break real easy. It ain't like fighting
with that ole bull at home. I'm about the best they got in
this outfit except for that Tug Jordan from over in SilverLake.
I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but
I'm only 5'6" and 130 pounds and he's 6'8" and near 300 pounds
dry. That's going to take some doing.
Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other
fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.
Your loving daughter,