David Peabody Guion – Home on leave, January, 1944
SPECIAL SERVICE – U. S. ARMY
Camp Crowder, Missouri
Sunday, Feb. 27, 1944
No, this doesn’t mean that I have another typing job. It’s just that upstairs here in the Service Club they have typewriters that you can use for 30 minutes for a dime. I got halfway over here from my barracks (about a mile) and realized that I didn’t have a pencil. So, rather than go all the way back for a pencil, I decided to become extravagant and use one of these typewriters which I saw when I was here last week.
I’ve finished one week of my basic training and don’t find it a bit tough. I am told by reliable sources that the first couple of weeks aren’t usually very hard anyway. I also findthat you must go from one thing to another here (you can’t waste any time or(dilly-dally). Naturally, that’s kind of tough for me. I’m not supposed to tell what I do, see, or hear while I’m doing my basic; which gives me very little to talk about because everything one does here is basic training.
I still like the camp very much. The food, for the most part, is excellent (I have been here a week and 1/2 already (I can notice that my face is feeling out and I know that I feel a whole lot healthier). I don’t think there are better non-coms in the whole Army (including my brothers) than the ones that are in my platoon. There’s Cpl. McGrath from Buffalo who is a bit bossy, but if you analyze his job you realize that he has to be that way. To talk to, he’s very friendly and congenial. Then there’s Sgt. Chinn – I don’t know where he comes from — but he certainly breaks all the rules when it comes to being a tough Army Sergeant. I have seen him, I’ll admit, when he’s given the appearance of being tough, but then again if you put yourself in his shoes, his actions seem logical. (I guess I told you last week about his catching me looking out on the road and not paying attention to what he was saying. “If I catch you looking out there again, I’ll put you on K.P. for a week.”My answer was, “Yes, Sergeant”, which was said in a unique way that you probably have never heard me use before – no talking back to HIM. But he can joke and fool around with the rest of us when the time and place permit. He’s just a little guy (comes to about the level of my eyes) and he’s got a military strut on him that makes him look awfully funny. I get a big kick out of it when he walks up to some lanky guy that may have come from them Washington woods and throws him an order in a gruff voice, looking up at the boob as he does it. The lanky rookie could take the Sergeant and twist him in his hands if he wanted to – but, alas, – this is the ARMY. Cpl. Keep is a new Corporal and hasn’t learned the Army technique of giving orders as yet. This makes him even more likable.
Tomorrow I will finish this letter.