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Following in My Footsteps

Posted by on June 9, 2014

April 27, 1943. Stanley catches up on his writing to Dad. “So far I have received five letters from you, three from Illinois and the other two today both at the same time from Salt Lake City.” As to Salt Lake City, he comments, “Anything can happen when you are there. Have you had that physical yet? They give you a shower then give you a physical. Boy that sure is some place. It looks like you are following in my footsteps. I was in barrack 21-14, they were the big wooden barracks. You must be in the small wooden huts on one side of the road.” He further comments, “When we were in Salt Lake City we told them we were clerks and worked in the orderly room instead of drilling on the field or doing other work as details, I guess we got a break out there at least.”

Relaying more of his own experience at Salt Lake City, Stanley writes, “When I was at Salt Lake City our records were there as we took them along with us but our barrack bags did not come and that is the reason why we stayed there so long. They try to reclassify you over and over again at Salt Lake City.”

Noting on his experience at his current post in Ephrata, Washington, Stanley writes, “The weather here is very changeable. We had some warm weather and then it got cool. Then one day…we had a hail storm and the next day we had a dust storm. Boy what a mess everything was. Everything was covered with dust and we had a heck of a time keeping everything dusted.”

He continues, “Today my name came on an order relieving me from the attached and putting me on the unassigned list. I guess starting tomorrow I won’t be working in the orderly room but will go into my new squadron and work there. We will have to start an orderly room of our own.”

On the topic of Easter and Holy Week, Stanley goes into some detail, “Friday from 12 to 3 PM we had services in the base theater. We first had some prayers like Father Ostrowski had on Holy Saturday in the church. Then we had mass about 2 PM and then we had Stations of the Cross and the priest gave us a lecture on the seven last word of our Lord. Saturday in the afternoon after the meeting we had in the theater I went to confession in the back of the theater. The chaplain had a small room for himself. On Easter Sunday I went to communion. They had the altar covered with flowers such as lilac, apple blossoms and sage brush. Sage brush is a weed which is green in the summer. I fasted on Good Friday and half of Holy Saturday.”

Stanley also provides some detail regarding his next assignment. He mentions that some of the men will be sent to Orlando, Florida, which at that time was a far different place than it is today. He says that they will be attending a tactical school there. “When they come from there we will join them and go to Geiger Field and stay there a month and then go to Great Falls, Montana. I won’t leave this place till about June 1 or so and stay at Geiger Field for another month or so and at Great Falls for another month or so and then ship somewhere else and then from there, overseas. I don’t care if I go overseas or not as I know the good Lord will take care of me.”

He closes by noting that “I’ll attempt to send this letter to you at Salt Lake City and see what happens. I wish you the best of luck and may God bless you in all your endeavors.”

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