Army Life – Boy, Am I Soft – June 18, 1942

Lad Guion with friend - Pomona - 1944 (2) head shot

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Aberdeen Hospital – June 18th

Dear Dad – etc.: –

Boy, am I soft. One night on bivouac and I got sick. A second night and I’m sent to the hospital. Here is the story. As you may remember, I had a slight cold when I left home (May 15, 1942). The first night in Devens (Ft. Devens, Ayer, Massachusetts) didn’t help much and since then I have been going so hard that I have not had a chance to get enough rest. And anyway, Aberdeen is rather a humid place. Well, one day, my cold would be pretty good and then the next it would be worse, and I figured that if I could hold out until my first five weeks were up, I’d be able to get a little rest or even go to the hospital and get well cured.

We left Aberdeen Sunday morning as planned and got to our camp location about 10:30 A. M., attended a conglomerate service and started clearing land for tent locations. Went to eat and returned to finish cleaning. Pitched tents and prepared everything for the evening. Went for a swim in the bay and dressed for supper. Ate and had the evening to ourselves. I went down and sat on the beach until sundown and retired.

Monday – after a cold sleepless night on damp ground – most of the Co. had some sort of cold, some of their’s worse than mine. After calisthenics and breakfast, Co. A, & B attended a lecture ending with one on map reading and then a treasure hunt. I had no ambition and did not even come in 15th. Then lunch and Co. A & B started clearing the campgrounds where C & D had left off. Here I got a good dose of poison ivy. Since we had no water except in the bay and chlorinated drinking water, in order to clean up we had to swim so I went in again. Afterward, I really felt better. Then retreat, supper, a rifle check and another free evening. Watched a ballgame and saw Co. B lose to Co. A., then I retired.

Slept fine but got up Tuesday feeling lousy, and with a sore throat and chills. Had my throat painted and went on with regular work. By noon the chills were worse and I reported to the First Aid tent. Then I was told to pack my stuff and be ready to sail back at 2:30 with the mail boat. We left at 3:00. Got to A.P.G. (Lad’s initials but here it means Aberdeen Proving Grounds) at 5:00 and ate supper. Reported to hospital at 7:30 and was assigned to a bed (No. 18) in Ward 15. Was given enough medicine to kill everything I ever had or will have (except poison ivy) and went to bed.

Wed. I felt better but stayed in bed and slept most of the day. Given med. three times per day.

Today, my throat is quite sore, but I feel better otherwise than I have since I entered the Army. I think that with a little rest, I’ll be tip-top again.

Well, that is up to the present. For the future – – – I don’t even think that I’ll be released from here to make it home this weekend, but I’m still hoping. Nothing further as yet on my immediate future.

I’ve not received any mail, because it came out to the camp on the same boat that took me back, and it was not distributed until after I had gone. However, I should get some sometime today.

You had better not expect me home this weekend. More later – – my love to Aunt Betty and the rest.

Lad

Tomorrow, a letter from Grandpa with a little hint about getting letters from his sons.

Judy Guion

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Army Life – Lad Wonders What The Army Has in Store For Him – June 13, 1942

Lad - 1943

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

June 13

Dear Dad: –

Excuse me for not writing sooner, but I have been trying to find out something definite as to my status with the U.S. Army. It looks as though I am to stay here for some time yet, and I can have a car here later, but it all depends on what the bank says as to whether I will sell it or not. In case I have to sell it, I’d accept $700 or even $675 in cash. I’ll let you more or less decide that issue. If this new bill goes through concerning the raise in pay for soldiers, I could probably pay $25/month, but not much more.

Today we finish our basic training and tomorrow at 4:00 a.m. we get up in preparation for departure at 5:15 on our bivouac.  At the termination of this, our basic training will be over. Then there will be eight weeks more of technical training which will terminate my training and I will be able to bring down a car. But what comes afterward, I have not been able to determine. Possibly when we return next Thursday or Friday and I’m transferred to another Co. for additional training, I may be able to get a slant on the future. If I’m not transferred next weekend, I’ll have a chance to come home, and in connection with this event, do you suppose you could send me $5.00? This bivouac sort of took enough cash for cigarettes, shaving equipment, etc., to bring my $9.00 pay down to is some too low to buy a round trip ticket. Boy, we all certainly put out plenty for $.07 an hour. We make, at present, $.70 per day, which is really quite small when all items necessary during the first couple of weeks are purchased, mainly on the dribble plan, a little now and a little then. You have my permission to open any mail addressed to me, and do as you see fit. I think your judgment is reasonable.

Love,

Laddie

Tomorrow, a letter from Grandpa to his three sons away from home, one in Alaska and two in the Army, updating them on the happenings of their siblings. On Thursday, another letter from Lad and on Friday, I will finish out the week with another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion