30 December 1943

Have an hour of rest now (after supper) before we go out on the night problem. Got a flat 50 of cigarettes from Frieda just now. Everyone seemed to have remembered me this year. I'm really touched. Thank Frieda for me, also Gus and Bert perhaps. As I have such little time to write. Seems as if I have to stay up late in order to write a letter anymore. Write (why) haven't you written lately? Probably busy. But I miss that letter. Did get a card 2 or 3 days ago. Am enclosing a copy of our camp newspaper. Really one of the most concentrated but complete news summary I've seen. I think it's very good. About all we have time to read. We were out in some steep hills this afternoon doing tactical work. Steep perpendicular hills, big rocks jutting out of the ground, trees, lowland around a lake, and cactus of and/or 3 different kinds. That was the main impression. A pretty part of the camp area. The rocks seem to be mostly sandstone and are pinkish or salmon colored usually. May get in tomorrow morning earlier than previously expected - perhaps by 4:30. Hope I can get off a day or a day and a half this weekend. Was on K.P. Thanksgiving, Guard School Christmas Eve, and on Guard Christmas. Won't do much damage, I assure you, but want to drink a couple beers or something if I can get it. Feel I have earned that right. An infantryman earns what little pleasure he gets. Funny how the men in a platoon (barracks) about 50 to 60, gradually become one big family. We know each other, give each other things, and help each other. There's often some friction here or there - but only of minor importance; - we have a feeling of common sympathy with one another. There are all types here. It was warm here today. The ground is drying up again. We had a lot of wet, cold, sloppy weather recently. Will be thinking of you. Probably will drink beer, listen to music, and dream of home - over the New Year's. Oh, yes, regarding the war. Anything can happen, but it's best to not expect too much. It may take some time yet.
Love, Melvin