Letters

3 October 1943

Dearest,
Here it is Sunday and I'm C.Q. again; this time in Hqtrs for the Unit. I seem to get my share and more of this detail. I'll have to spend all day until 11:00 P.M. here. Last week I was C.Q. at Co. C. and that was an all-nght job. A week from Tuesday coming I'm to be it again at Co. C., and then it will be a 25-hour stretch, without surcease. Got your letter yesterday afternoon; and it was a very nice letter indeed. Sorry you're so busy all the time. Do you think you can continue the pace, or is it too much for you to teach school and take care of the baby, etc., at the same time? I don't want you to overdo it and hurt yourself thereby. A person really ought to have some spare time. Do you mean that Clella can't work now because of her rheumatism? Is it a bad attack? What days do you get off for vacation or holiday? Tell me in detail. I'm not very confident that I can get any of the holidays, Christmas or Thanksgiving, as furlough; pretty improbable. But I may be able to do something--perhaps a 3-day leave on one of those, if I'm lucky. That sneaking low-down rat of a DeHart. You remember he didn't like it that I had filled in time for the first of August as time worked, and he wanted it for himself. Yet I had told him in plain English at the board meeting a week or two before he came, that my 30-day leave with pay would start on the second of August, the first day of active military service, and that I was working up to that date and that he shouldn't expect to start work until then. He couldn't expect to work on Sunday, and goodness knows I tried to take my month leave with pay starting the first of August, but the State Dept. nixed the idea, as per a letter from Streigl (still on file in the office I trust). Anyway, I was entitled to one extra month's pay, and so that was the only way possible for me to get it: to credit myself for a short check for one day. He knows it too. It was his own fault for terminating his employment with Polk Co. a day early. He just didn't listen when I told him the effective date for his starting work in Harrison Co. For authority for my contentions, I showed him the Manual and referred him also to a letter from Joe Streigl. Well, excuse my vexatious feelings. I might drop that DeHart a line;--no, it's too late now. I ought to write the State Dept. maybe. I'm so busy I hardly have time for such details. Two more weeks of B. Trng! You know, what i dislike most about army life is the long hours, the monotony, tedious work sometimes, and the general pushing around you get. Excuse this messy letter. I'm quite often interrupted; also this chair and desk isn't quite suited to me. The baby must be awfully cute. All the more reason for my wanting to take my furlough early. Did I tell you that I had my name put down tentatively on the furlough list as to a furlough from November 1 to November 10? Is Gus mad at me again? Have you seen her lately? I'll write her very soon; probably today. I do think that the 3 weeks lay-off will do them good at the restaurant, but I suppose they're worrying about loss of money incurred thereby. Bet they go to Lake City or somewhere part of the time. Bet also the excessively heavy business and lack of help figured in their closing to a certain extent. You know, I have a bare outside chance of becoming a sergeant. Don't get the least bit excited though; it's a rather distant prospect. Right now, however, I'm not a barracks leader any longer, because of the splitting up and shipping out of most of the hold-over group. I bet I've moved an average of once a week since I've been in this Unit. I've slept in three different tents, two barracks in Co. A, and two barracks in Co. C. I'm now in a barracks with two other corporals, one of whom is my senior in service and is barracks leader. I've also worked in companies A, B, and C in this Unit. It's surprising how many of the enlisted men speak to me when they see me. I walk down the street and I hear half a dozen, "Hi Corporal's in the space of a few minutes. I also have had many of the men of my last teaching group speak about how much they miss me since we've been separated. Last night, Corporal Cockerell and myself went to the town of Leavenworth and spent a few leisurely hours. We drank a little beer, 3 each, and talked and ate peanuts and popcorn. Seems as if everbody from Co. C knew me. You can't help feeling a great feeling of kinship and sympathy for these men; all perhaps quite lonely and wishing for home but being cheerful and good natured about everything, even the hardest and most disagreeable of work. Some of them will do anything for you. Personally, I think a world of many of the EMs than I do some of the non-coms, who are forever trying to improve their position at the expense of someone else. That doesn't mean all of them but some. A school teacher is not my kind of people; many of them are petty, conceited, womanish, and unmanly. They are given to advancing their own ends in small selfish ways, and resemble catty women in many ways. That's just an observation. It is not an all-inclusive one, by any means. Will send Gus the $5.00 I owe her. I was paid the 30th; $17.25 for the month of September. $7.00 deduction for insurance, $3.75 for bonds, and $22.00 for SDA. My previous check, payment from the 2nd of August through August, was $12.33, I believe. I don't understand how the first figure was arrived at, however. They made some other deduction, or double deduction, I imagine. Regarding dispostion of your money, I don't know. Do what you wish; I believe bonds would be a good thing. Keep a little ready cash on hand however. Have you withdrawn the money from the Logan bank yet? You know, I believe we ought to be able to save a little money. How much do we have now? Of course, I'll not be much of a saver because it takes about all of mine for incidentals, if you know what I mean. You make more than I did, did you realize that? I may send a suntan shirt and trousers home to you for washing and ironing. I know you're busy, but there won't be any hurry about your returning them. I can maybe even wait until my furlough to pick them up. Can you send me some more coat-hangers? The all metal kind; no paper. Also some more handkerchiefs? If I had your last letter or two here, I could undoubtedly think of some more things to write. So I'll be seeing you.
Love,
Melvin

P.S. Should get corporal's pay ($66.00) soon, within a few days, I understand.