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I Hope to Learn Some Profession

Posted by on October 7, 2014

June 19, 1943. It’s a Saturday, and Dad takes some time on his day off to write home from Topeka. The pictures of his brother Stanley with his niece Theresa-Marie have finally made their way to him. He comments, “He and Theresa-Marie look like relatives indeed. I think those pictures are the best ever taken and I get very much enjoyment looking at them…especially the one where Theresa-Marie is laughing.” He also says, “She looks so proud…which makes her look cute.” He further mentions that the baby is changing and starting to look more like its mother. At this point it has been nearly 6 months since Dad has been in the Army and he has yet to get back home on a furlough. He concludes “it all totals up to a beautiful baby.”

He also says that he got a certificate which enabled him to buy a pair of shoes. Apparently shoes were also rationed during the war as the rubber for the soles and the leather were in demand for military use. Even civilians had to apply to the local ration board for permission to buy shoes. He details that the bought them at the PX as they are cheaper there than at a regular store. He bought the most expensive pair ($7.50 for a pair of Stanfords) figuring that the might as well get a sturdy, well made pair since it might be a while before he gets to buy another pair. He say he now takes a size 10D, up from a 9D, attributing it to “the GI shoes and marching.”

He then tells his sister “This is the part of the letter you aren’t going to like.” He tells her that he applied for ASTP with his choices being “(Radio) Engineering as 1st choice, Languages 2nd choice and Medical as last. I preferred the Air Corps branch as choice 1 and Signal Corps as choice 2.” He explains that the still needs to go through the process of an interview with a Board of Officers before being approved. He understand that his family expects him to get a furlough the next month and that his applying for ASTP may interfere with it. He writes, “I hope you won’t feel bad about it…because I have taken this action.   …I could imagine how you are all expecting me next month.” He says that there is still a chance that the furlough may come before he is sent to school, if selected.

He further explains, “I know I could have made you people happier if I were to count on my furlough, but after the furlough! What? I would only have to leave you and come back to this old joint.” He elaborates, “I hope to learn some profession as I would like to know something else outside of being an office clerk.”

He says he also applied now as he was concerned that the war would end sooner rather than later and that if things look like the end of the war is imminent the ASTP program would be discontinued. He makes the point that “the European situation seems somewhat more or less in our favor.” Although he also writes, “Personally I am giving Germany only until 1945 [at] the most to hold up under the strain.”

He closes, “I haven’t anything else to say, and may God bless all of you over and over again.”



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