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A Little Brighter Than Yesterday

Posted by on June 5, 2014

April 23 & 24, 1943. Dad writes another letter home from Salt Lake City. He says, “I still feel fine but disgusted with my predicament.” He is “now in the same boat as Stanley, in the same service command and under the same regulations. That brings us that 7 day furlough business and staying on this side (west) of the Mississippi.”

Things are still up in the air about his final assignment. “At our processing yesterday we had a hasty physical examination and as far as I know are all “Qual. For. Service” (qualified for foreign service). I myself figure next year as the one in which I hope to see Europe and Poland. I would prefer a lot more to see Europe than South Sea Islands or Australia. They weren’t too particular about anything. I understand that we have been assigned and soon shall be forming squadrons.” He also related that there was a chance at becoming “a permanent party” at Salt Lake City but that it was unlikely as he is in Ordnance. He did say that he talked to the Ordnance Officer who told him that he could pick out a friend or two with whom he would like to be sent to his next assignment. Dad says, “I hope he keeps his word.”

Meanwhile, the drudgery goes on while he is in Salt Lake City merely as a way station. “I had K.P. today which was the easiest I ever had. We worked in a different area than our own and I and 3 other fellows were dining room orderlies who cleaned tables and the floor of the dining room after each meal.” He also mentions that “Today is Good Friday and I did fast and tried to behave alright.”

He continues his letter on the 24th (Good Saturday). He says, “Things seem a little brighter than yesterday.” With the new day apparently comes news of where he will be stationed next, although he does not go into specifics in the letter he does say, “I think I will be closer to home than Stanley. It will be closer than where I am now. It is possible to get a 7 day furlough if you hit the right persons in the right way. You can get a 7 days plus an accumulated sum of 3 days leave as well as travelling time.”

As it is Good Saturday, he mentions “I fasted until 12:00 noon today and will have been to Mass on Easter Sunday before you get this letter should I be on detail and not on shipment.” Like any good Catholic, when the business of fasting is over it’s time to cut loose. He reports, “I just went to the PX and had a cup of coffee and a hamburger with my friends Carucci and Sheehan and a piece of pie. We sure surprised all them waitresses when we asked for a couple slices of onion to go with the hamburgers. It might stink but it tasted good. On the way back from PX we saw the chapel and it sure looked good for tomorrow’s Mass.”

He closes, “I guess that’s about all I have to say. God bless you all.”

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