Home | 1942
The anniversary date, the 167th, has come to pass and nearly gone. It was surely a bearcat for we recruits. They fed us turkey for dinner and that only led to our downfall. Immediately afterward, we had to march out to the rifle range and practise positions. Honestly, Mills, that would kill a lot of people. The instructor asks us if it hurts when get into the torture positions and when we say "yes", he remarks, "your in good position then."
The D. I. (drill instructor) is a good boy. He is exactly the type I would love till death if I were a women. He's 6 foot weighs about 185 and looks like one of these pictures you see on recruiting posters. Truly a man from another world. He's a man, too, and treats us as such.
Shot a 22 pistol for practice today and got in about 75 rods. The one they gave me shot low and left until I compensated for it. No foolin, though, the exercises has us all coming in with our butts at half mast. I never knew I could want a drink of water so badly when it only filled your belly and made it harder to bend over. Your legs and arms cramp and the strap or sling, in order to prevent weaving, must be tight enough to make your left hand red and sore. Don't think I'm griping because we all will be master of our rifles before we get out of here. As you've heard before the Marines are tough and that is why.
Glad to hear you have written to Mom, for I know she will glad to get in. Also I bet you get an answer before long too. Her leg is progressing satisfactorily which makes me feel better. Now if only your foot would heal, my two best buddies would be in good shape again.
The boys certainly got a kick out of the Bill of Rights for Women you sent. They think you're all right for the see the packages and stamps you send but not the letters. If you ever get a letter from someone out here, you will know one of hoodlums has stolen your address and the results are devastating if you believe it all. We pull all kinds of tricks here and I have to destroy all your writing. One of the boys got a message this A. M. that is a proud father for the first time. Was he tickled.
Got a letter from Claude in L. A. and he says he is coming down Sunday. Also is brining Leo. who was boss at the Ice House and who is now in Riverside. I'll bet they snort when they see this dump.
Didn't think I'd have time to write this for I had so much to do and we got in so late. Got two of your letters yesterday, one at each mail call. I don't believe there is another guy in camp whose best girl friend is as consistent as yourself.
I imagine it's rather difficult to sit down and write at times when news is at a premium. Perhaps you know how much it means to a certain Marine and if you don't I couldn't begin to express it.
No, Dear, I haven't forgotten the honeymoon. How could I pass over anything so sweet as that. That's from my heart and no foolin'. The desire to get home only drives me harder to get another tough job finished. Until such date all I can do is express, in a feeble manner, my feelings toward you. Must say adios, Gene, and happy landings.
[The letter was postmarked November 16, which was a Monday. I think Don must have written the wrong day at the top of the letter.]