July 5 & 7, 1943. Dad writes two letters home to Albany from Topeka. The first is relatively short. In it he explains that his rating for Corporal has been held up by the higher ups considering whether his boss (T/Sgt. Ball) gets his promotion at the same time. Apparently both Dad’s and T/Sgt. Ball’s ratings are on the “same paper”. Dad’s new boss, Sgt. Mann, has arrived. Apparently Mann had “certainly became Sgt. very fast” having been a “Pvt. even yet in May 7, 1943”.
In his letter of the 5th Dad also mentions that he saw “movies on the Articles of War” that “reminds you to watch your step carefully so you don’t wind up being court-martialed.” He goes on to say that “A fellow in our bunch is already in the guard house since a few days ago for wrecking up a staff car which he took without authority… He was a little drunk at the time I heard.” The Articles of War were a precursor to the Uniform Code of Military Justice which essentially governs the military criminal justice system.
In his letter of the 7th there is still no news of a promotion to Corporal and he still has not heard about ASTP. Dad reacts to the news of the upstairs neighbors moving out, saying that the news was “very good indeed, and has done much to lift my morale.” He relays that he can “still remember how the Walshes at one time had so many dogs around their house and yard that we though they had a city job running municipal dog pound.”
He writes in response to Anna’s encounter with the Bierko boy and his story about getting out of the foxhole just in time saying that he “seemed to have some experience with him coming out on the better end of it,” and that “there are many more like him and it will take many more like him…to finish up this war to a successful conclusion.”
He was also glad to hear about the baby starting to get on her feet advising that his sister will have to “watch her carefully so she doesn’t let her little feet carry her into trouble” and saying that the “real fun…will be when she starts talking and asking questions.”
He wraps up by detailing that in addition to the training films he has been seeing other movies at the GI Theater on base. The following excerpt details his thought about the last two movies he saw.