30 January 1944

How did you know that Dad was not well? I just got a letter from Evelyn that Allie had written her that he was in the hospital. They don't know for sure what it is, but it seems to be something serious + apparently in the kidneys. (Allie couldn't find my address; so asked Evelyn to write me.) Dad went to the hospital about the 11th and Allie's letter to Evelyn was dated the 18th. I've written Allie for more information. Dad's lung condition seems to be as good as it was - so it's someting else this time. If Dad's condition becomes critical or definitely serious I can get an emergency furlough (about 15 days) to go see him. I trust it isn't that serious, but if it is + for your information if you should happen to be in a position to use it, his condition would have to be verified + reported by the Red Cross (D.M. Chapter) to this camp + company. I mention this as it may possibly be a means of saving me from delay in getting leave if leave is warranted. Boy, did they give us a workout Friday. We hiked out to the Dry Valley area (about 7 miles) and then underwent physical fitness tests, + that afternoon a problem involving the use of the mortar in the attack, + then hiked back to camp, + that night again went out to area B for a night problem lasting up to midnight. The fitness tests included such things as pushups, running race; + 2 others. I did pretty well in all of them (was a little off form in the pushups [only 29 as compared with 38 the other day]); but really showed some speed in the 300-yd run. Made it seconds faster than anyone else in my platoon. Had a chance for a position as Army clerk (probably with corporal's rating) had I not been 1-A. Have you read about it: that the only soldiers to be left in this country will be class B or new recruits or those on furlough from overseas - starting now + to be completed by 1945. In this camp most of the non-coms + overhead are going out; new B's will take their place. All A's will be overseas by June as fas as this camp is concerned. Don't worry. I'll be home in about 4 weeks or thereabouts + tell you more about it. We go out to Baker's Hollow for a few days this coming Tuesday. Keep writing. I'll appreciate mail more than ever out there. They'll bring mail out to us + take letters to mail for us. How's Clella, Tony, + the boy? Everybody getting along all right? Not much more to say. This life is pretty bad; there's no denying it. Seems as if military service is eternally stretching from the past to the future. I have a little hope though that I can be home for good at about the end of 1944. Of course, that's a hope - subject to both augmentation or decrease, depending on the day-to-day progress of the war. Put your allottment in bonds, that'll be all right.
Love, Melvin