6 October 1943

Forgive the lateness of this letter. Been quite busy lately - as usual. Am now what they call "floating instructor"; I teach in different barracks, whenever the regular instructor has been on CQ the night before and thereby has the morning off. Everything is constantly changing here. Nothing remains static. Have also been appointed as "acting drill sergeant" for handling the more unprogressive and slower men - the "Awkward Squad". By the way, the men seem to prefer being in a platoon under me - as a general rule and many times. Don't misunderstand this as bragging, but it makes me feel quite good to see men that are pleased to "fall in" in my platoon. This doesn't so much apply to the "Awkward Squad" but more in a general way. On the other hand, I had difficulty today in correcting a small error or two in the manual of arms (during B. Trng.). I tend to move my head a little when I bring my rifle to "right shoulder arms". Also to get the rifle from right shoulder to the first count of any other position; it's a rather awkward movement for me. But yet I've got on to the rifle firing positions nicely and have got a good strap adjustment for the different positions figured out. Can hold that rifle perfectly still. I always seem to get so detailed about what I do in the Army. Excuse me. It may be only a way of summarizing my record. Some sad news maybe - my furlough has been changed to fall on a later date. Some chislers beat me out of the earlier date (by virtue of their getting their name on a piece of paper first and other horn swoggling). Looks as if it'll be later in December (3-13) or January (3-13), but don't look for me on any particular date yet, as there may be some changes made. If some method of giving furloughs, besides that of a wild hog-scramble to ask for that or the other period before anyone else, is used, I'll have a better chance. Your description of the baby almost broke my heart - I want to see her so badly. Hope Clella is improving. Sorry you're so tied-down. When I get there though maybe we can do things. B. Trng. may be extended another week or two beyond the original plan. The lieutenant in charge seems to think some of us need a little more training. Don't know yet how that'll be. Only thing about the Army a person can be sure of is "Everything changes". It's getting late. Must go to bed. It's still dark after we march back from breakfast in the morning - and quite cool too. Be glad when we can live and be together again. Love, Melvin