SPECIAL SERVICE – U. S. ARMY
Camp Crowder, Missouri
13 August 1944
Dear Dad –
I am very hurt. For the first time since I’ve been in the Army I neglected to write to you for two weeks. It so happens that it wasn’t neglect – only that I was very busy. So then what happens? I get a letter – not exactly accusing me of being negligence – but nevertheless, stating that I shouldn’t have let so much time go by without writing. Take your other sons now. They don’t write for months at a time – some of them anyway – or at least one of them- with all apologies to Jean. Do they get a letter every two weeks reminding them that they haven’t written? I felt that by now you knew that if I had time I would write and that if I didn’t write there was a good reason for it. But nevertheless – you’re forgiven because if you hadn’t written that letter I wouldn’t have gotten any mail that day that I got yours. And besides – the mere fact that you were bothered enough by my not writing shows me that you miss my letters when I don’t write.
Well, tomorrow I go out to CPX for three weeks field training. By the time you get this letter I probably will have helped two or three chiggers or tics (or both) to go on living. I understand that they like good virgin Northern blood – blood that hasn’t yet felt the bite of other chiggers. But I’ve got them fooled because I’m already in the league. The other night we went on a hike and I supplied about five chiggers with their livelihood for a couple more days. We leave for CPX early tomorrow morning and stay in the field until three weeks from the day before yesterday (Friday). We live in tents or out in the open with a mattress of Missouri rocks. After three weeks will hike the 13 miles into camp and immediately go through the infiltration course. That is the course where you crawl on your stomach for 100 yards (which is a long way – if you don’t think so try it sometime) loaded down with nothing but a full field pack, gas mask, and a carbine. Course you couldn’t get the full benefit of all this if you didn’t have live machine gun fire going over your head and landmines going off beside you every few seconds – it’s really loads of fun! I went through him it my last day of basic only then it wasn’t nearly as warm as down here, I didn’t have a full field pack, or gas mask, and I didn’t just come in off a 13 mile hike.
Mail for the next three weeks will be anticipated and read with greater zeal than usual. My do address is the one which I sent by gov’t form to you a few days ago – it also will appear on the envelope that I send this letter in. The company is the most crowded one I have yet seen here – but it will be only for tonight – and maybe a few days after I get back from CPX. There is still nothing but rumor as to what will happen to me after I get back from CPX – but all signs still point to overseas shipment.
Elizabeth, Dave’s sister, with Mack
Mack,( the family pet dog, a gift from Rusty Heurlin, named after the Mackenzie River in Alaska) I believe, is already planning another addition of his News to Youse – (Dave wrote a letter – News to Youse –
Mack’s signature on the letter written February 10, 1940 to Lad in Venezuela
and I’m sure he would appreciate any help you would give him on it. Why did Ed fire Eddie Young? And last but not least – Bob Jennings is in the Navy – and as the Navy isn’t nearly as important as the Army – so Bob probably doesn’t train as hard as I do and therefore has more time.
No signature or even a P.S. so I wonder id there is more of this letter or he just ran out of space.
Tomorrow I’ll post a letter from Lad with potentially exciting news.