US Marine corps
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 maybe all of the places are filled. I was restless at first
because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m., but 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 warm water.
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
We go on "route" marches, which the Platoon Sergeant says are long
walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it is 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 schoolteacher. He nags some. The Captain is
like the school board. Majors and Colonels just ride around and frown.
They don't bother you none. This next 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 except for that Tug Jordan from over in
Silver Lake. He joined up the same time as me. But I'm only 5'6" and 130
pounds and he's 6'8" and weighs near 300 pounds dry.
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,