This is the second half of the letter I posted yesterday.
As Dick is not on speaking terms with his family any more, his faithful wife carries on the family correspondence. She writes it is just a little warm in Indianapolis, one hundred in the shade at 3 PM on June 27. That was the day Jean says Dick wouldn’t get home because the fort was being bombed — with flour bags, and Dick’s company had to be on hand to keep things in order. Dick said he was going to be one of the first “injured”, so he could sleep for the rest of the day. “It will be too bad if they all have the same idea.”
Dan, too, is getting to be just a memory, it is so long since we have seen his jovial countenance. He writes that “once again they have no definite word of our impending departure, and rather than renewing promises of passes and furloughs, we are still led to believe we shall be lucky to get home at all! There is not much I can tell you otherwise, except that we are anxious to get going after such a long and abortive stay in Lancaster. I have been, and still am, feeling in the pink of condition physically, which is precisely what the Army has been trying to achieve — this despite the long, intolerable heat wave.”
Maybe I’ll get fooled, Dan, but I can’t believe that your C.O. would refuse permission for you boys to get home once more before you go across, particularly as it has been so long a time that you have been training intensively. But, should you learn definitely that such is the case a letter or wire will bring me down there posthaste, preferably in the middle of the week to comply with the request that weekends be avoided for the convenience of you boys in the service.
Ced writes an extremely interesting and gripping account of the fire started in a plane he was repairing, finally resulting in the loss of that plane, the hangar, parts of other planes under repair, the radio station and equipment, tools and parts, several thousand dollars worth of liquor and furs, Ced’s new radio and battery, was himself burned and blistered so that he was laid up for about a week although he does not think there will be any permanent scars. The loss altogether will amount to about $75,000, not all of which was covered by insurance. Besides all this, the tires of his new car have gone flooey, Three out of five being “on their uppers”, but nothing can daunt his courage even though the ordeal has left its mark in more ways than one. The letter is too long to reproduce here (three full pages single spaced) but it is so graphic a description that you will do well to make a mental note to read it next time you are home. And that means YOU.
I wish, Ced, for certain reasons of my own, you would, as soon as you receive this, sit down and write me just how you now feel about this conscientious objector business, and whether outside of still holding the ideal of brotherhood being better than bloodshed, your attitude toward taking part in the fighting forces has been modified by our experiences in Japan, etc., and also by what we see of the type of individual who seems to compose the large majority of those under this classification. I would like your up-to-date views on this subject sent just as promptly as you can get them off to me, please. Good night to you all, my children, and blessings from your
Tomorrow, a short note from Lad to his father.
On Saturday and Sunday, more on the life of Mary E Wilson.