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LETTER FROM A FARM KID (now at Camp Pendleton,

San Diego,

Marine Corps Recruit Training)

Dear Ma and Pa:

I am well. Hope you are too. Tell Brother Walt

and Brother

Elmer that the Marine Corps beats working for old

man Minch

by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all

of the

places are filled.

I was restless at first because you got to stay

in bed till

nearly 6 a.m., but I am getting so I like to

sleep late.

Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast

is smooth

your cot and shine some things. No hogs to slop,

feed to

pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay…

practically nothing. Men got to shave but it’s

not so bad…

there’s warm water. Breakfast is strong on

trimmings like

fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind

of weak on

chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie,

and other

regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can

always sit by

the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food

plus yours

holds you ’til noon when you get fed again. It’s

no wonder

these city boys can’t walk much.

We go on “route marches,” which the platoon

sergeant says

are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so,

it’s not my

place to tell him different. A “route march” is

about as far

as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get

sore feet

and we all ride back in trucks.

The country is nice but awful flat. The sergeant

is like a

school teacher. He nags a lot. The captain is

like the

school board. Majors and colonels just ride

around and

frown. They don’t bother you none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing.

I keep

getting medals for shooting. I don’t know why.

The bulls-eye

is near as big as a chipmunk head and don’t move,

and it

ain’t shooting at you like the Higgett boys at

home. All you

got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit

it. You don’t

even load your own cartridges. They come in


Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat


You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to

be real

careful though, they break real easy. It ain’t

like fighting

with that ole bull at home. I’m about the best

they got in

this except for that Tug Jordan from over in

Silver Lake. I

only beat him once. He joined up the same time as

me, but

I’m only 5’6″ and 130 pounds and he’s 6’8″ and

near 300

pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join

up before

other fellers get onto this setup and come

stampeding on in.

Your loving son,


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