January 31, 1943. Dad writes home. To allay his family’s concerns, he assures them that, “I am over my homesickness and anytime I hear from you, it helps a lot. There is so much to do around here in such a limited time that I almost cannot find time to write to you.” Army life certainly goes on and Dad is taking the routine inoculations in stride; “Today I had two more shots and I have my last one coming soon which will complete the series of 7 for a whole year. From the descriptions of these shots by Billy and others you would think that they were terrible, but they don’t bother me as much as I thought they would. ” In addition to the inoculations, “Tomorrow we have K.P. for the first time. We soon should get a crack at guard duty and I know my 11 general orders.” He is counting down the days left of basic training (11) and expects another 24 days of advanced training after that.
Reflecting on what is going on back home, “You seem to have so much trouble with the weather and foodstuffs. Down here we get everything without any trouble. Perhaps I may send you some coconuts or some different kinds of fruit jelly in cans. Things are normal as Florida has not the great population to satisfy as New York State.” As much as there are things to keep him busy during the day, there is enough to keep him busy when off duty too. “At night when we have off, I go around the town and get fruit juices. They have papaya juice, which is very good, grapefruit, guava, pineapple, orange, lime, mmm, mmm.” He also gets out to the movies, “Last night…we saw Paul Muni in Commandos Strike at Dawn!” He also reports that, “At Flamingo Park they have free entertainment for soldiers but I have never been there. They have some celebrity almost every night from Hollywood.”
The military also watches out for its own, “In case some gyp joint wants to profit off the soldiers, that place is not allowed to be patronized by soldiers and the MP’s walk back and forth in front of it. It includes some taverns in which things might not have been right.”
He asks how things are back home reflecting, “I am glad to hear that Theresa Marie has a steady job keeping all of you busy and cheerful, plus sending kisses.” He also asks, “Does Papa get stuck with cleaning out the cellar or cutting the wood that I stacked in there per Mama’s instructions? By the time he finishes sawing we will be home.” One can only hope he is right. For now I leave you with the trailer for Commandos Strike at Dawn.