9 January 1944

Got your 3rd letter + card this past week. Haven't been feeling quite so well the past few days. Mostly my left leg which is sore and has a slight feeling of infection. It's getting better, I believe, now. Probably a result of that long hike. Everyone in our barracks has a cold or flu infection of some kind or other. Some have gone to the hospital. It's a wonder we do as well as we do, considering we're out in the wet and cold so much, sweating with physical exertion one minute, + shivering with cold the next. But most of us are pretty tough by now. I was on K.P. yesterday (a command rest day) + the night before, so I didn't go on the night problem Friday night. I didn't object to that: heard later some of the boys went up to their knees + farther in water when they broke through the ice in crossing a creek. On the critique of the problem after it was all over the executive officer of the company asked the men if they got anything out of the problem. Everybody was pretty unhappy by that time (4 o'clock in the morning), I heard, + so the men answered in chorus, "Yes, cold + wet feet." We had a lot of snow, ice, + mud the past week. The coming 6 weeks (the remainder of my cycle here) are apt to prove cold + uncomfortable. but we are getting used to that too. I get some satisfaction out of writing, though I can't see how, since I've so little happiness to tell about. But I do really enjoy hearing from you. Letters seem to get more + more important all the time. In 6 or 7 weeks I should be coming home, not on a furlough, but a delay enroute. I would get between 5 and 8 days at home. The average is usually 7 days- depending upon the location of the soldier's home + of his embarkation depot. More about all this stuff later when I can explain things by word of mouth + in better detail. I slept this afternoon. After dinner I lay down on my bunk + first thing you know I was asleep. Didn't wake up until a little before supper. Feel pretty lonely + rather blue right now. There ought to be some good music on the radio here in the recreation hall a little later though. Did I tell you - I'm to receive $2.50 as a fringe from the company officers for being one of the best rifle marksmen in the company. (I'm out of paper. Must close.)
Love, Melvin