July 17 & 20 1943. Letters home from Dad responding to the letter that his sister wrote him on the 14th. As he is writing on the evening of the 17th he is pulling CQ duty and has time to catch up on his correspondence. He was glad to hear about their friend Joe Miller who was home on furlough from his assignment in the Navy commenting, “Joe Miller sure brought home some fine stories about the Navy Basic Tng he received and his fly in his pants, or the 13 buttons in other words… I laugh about those 13 buttons.”
He also reflects on his brother-in-law “making out fine in his fishing” while he was on vacation. In that context he relates a story about when he, Stanley and Ed were “returning from Coveville from a fishing trip and we began discussing how we would miss Eddie when he would be taken by the Selective Service and we wouldn’t be able to go fishing, and one of us happened to say that things might happen just the opposite and they did. Truth is stranger than fiction!”
Dad also mentions that Stanley’s birthday is coming up and that he will make a trip into town to find a card for him rather than “these trash cards you get around the PX”. He speculates, “I doubt whether this Birthday will carry much meaning to him except that of his home and those he left behind. He seems to bear more in silence than I do.”
Dad still has not heard back on his application to ASTP. He did a little digging around and much to his dismay found out why. “The ASTP section…found no trace of the application. You see, the Sgt. who wrote it out in pencil, evidently didn’t write it out on a typewriter. So the heck with it for the present and I am putting in for a furlough and apply when I get back. However, I wonder if that darn application isn’t floating around somewhere.” He goes on to explain another possible complicating factor. “It is also possible to refuse applications if the person is considered important to his job. I am assigned and not a basic (basic is a guy whose position in the Army has not been decided and who is finishing his 1st part of Army life) so I may have been rejected, but I will try again later after a furlough and that is certain.”
Dad had read in Ann’s letter about baby Theresa chewing up and generally destroying the stuffed rabbit that he sent her for Easter. Dad has a pretty sanguine attitude towards it all. “…she takes after her father. He too, kills rabbits… I am certainly surprised that the rabbit has lived through what it has been so far.”
As far as the news about the baby’s progress in learning to walk and talk, Dad writes, “If Theresa-Marie was in the Army, she wouldn’t be so eager to want to walk. She would be satisfied to sit on someone’s lap or lie in bed. The soldiers here are very childish in that way. We get up around 6:00 AM to 6:15 AM and actually get out from under the covers at 6:30 AM if you want to eat. Otherwise you sleep until 7:00 AM when you have to fall out for drill.” He goes on to say that their work day starts at 8:00 with the officers getting into the office at about 8:30. He says that the works “civilian hours, plus 8 hours” as they only get one day off a week. He comments, “All of that don’t sound too much like and Army, and still some fellows say it is too much work and complain. “
Dad mentions one other detail about camp. “We have two old-timer soldiers in our outfit who have been in the Army since the last war and they are around 50 years old. They seem to be alone and just can’t march and drill as long as the young jerks like us can. They are M. Sgts and know their stuff and are very quiet most of the time. Sometimes I just wonder what their thoughts are.
Dad wraps up with a P.S. mentioning that he put in for a seven day (plus travel time) furlough starting on August 5th.