4 August 1943

Dearest Dorothy,
I sure do miss you. Wish I were home again. How's the baby? Did you get your operation? How'd it seem and was it allright? This army life isn't for me - but maybe I'll get used to it. I feel awfully lonesome and sort of lost. You'd better write often - although not while I'm here at Fort Leavenworth as this is a reception center and I'll be transferred out shortly. We're being processed now - preliminary instructions, making beds, blood tests, articles of war, movies on sex hygiene, talks, and intelligence tests so far; tomorrow we get vaccinated and fitted for clothes; then to the shipping out barracks to await transfer, while the few days of waiting we get a lot of detail work: one 18 hour day of K.P., which you can tell your grandchildren about! I don't believe I did exceptionally well in the intelligence tests. Can't tell yet of course. Don't expect too much of me; I seem to be just a number here - although that's all I expected. The boys here have a common remark they're always shouting: "You ain't gonna like it here". What I don't like is that we get no leave from camp while here and very few other privileges. Those come later, I believe, when you go to your assigned camp for 13 weeks basic training. It's very hot and sultry down here. It rained the night we came down - quite heavy. We had to wait in Logan several hours, as the train was 8 hrs late and we had to take the 8:40 bus. From Omaha we rode via train and slept in the seats. Got here quite early in the morning. Forget what time it was. This morning we got up at 4:00 A.M., at least that's what I heard, but I didn't seem to mind it any. I find there are any number of men here who aren't quite happy about army life; in fact practically all of them. So don't take my previous remarks on the matter too seriously. I don't like it but it's going to last a long time and there's nothing I can do about it - so might as well accept it. I sure appreciate you a lot more when you're gone. Suppose I was rather mean to you at times. Send me some of the snapshots of yourself and baby. Will write more later. Tell Knowlton's and everybody hello for me. Love, Melvin

P.S. How's O.K.'s health now? I really asked Art Noxon an embarrassing question Monday: "What did you go to Des Moines for?". He fluttered around a second or two, looking guilty as hell, then in a rather half-weak, half-blustering tone said something about "partly on business - partly pleasure". I said "hmmph" and turned away. By the way, the new Director looks like an A-hole or else Art N. had him all built up against me. Took a very authoritative, uppity manner; tried to treat me like a child; and tried to imply a fault against me on one point then another. I got more or less mad and argued back, though I didn't realize his attitude right away; but I didn't back any ground, and he looked as silly as he tried to make me look. Art shook hands, about 15 minutes after I showed up, and said good-bye; but I wasn't ready to go yet, the damned fool, and stayed around another 15 minutes or so. He thinks he's getting in good with the State Office (stuck a knife in my back) and the new director. It was quite apparent to me Monday at the office. By the way, Mrs. Chase (Draft Board Clerk) told me Monday that Art N. had been in her office a couple of times in the past few months to ask about when I would be drafted. Everytime he said he saw no reason why I shouldn't be drafted. Mrs. Chase didn't like it; and also doesn't think very well of Art N. as a person. Boy, is he happy now - he thinks. Well, enough of this for this time. Had to get it off my chest though. Sure do miss my family. Lots of love.