October 20, 1943
Dear Mudder and Pappy,
I was so sure that this would be my last day in the hospital that I went to the supply room this morning and got clean bedclothes (this is necessary before one can leave). The shock was terrific when the nurse said, “Too bad but you ain’t on da list.” I couldn’t figure it out until I read the work list, but then it was perfectly clear. I was given the great honor of mopping the floor, again. I’m positive that they’re keeping me here because I’m the only one in the ward that is strong enough and willing enough to do any work. (war is hell)
I’m perfectly convinced a this time that the Army is the most inefficient organization in the whole wide world. If a person works hard and gets a job quickly it gets him “nottin’”. As soon as he finishes one job they hunt another for him. Here’s where the great art of “goldbricking” comes in the Army. One is shirking your duty so the other fellow has to do your work. That is bad. The other is merely stretching a job out until it takes all day. That’s good. Well, although at home I was a first class goldbrick of the latter type, here I’m a rank amateur. It’s too cold to loaf on the job. Therefore, they’ve got me spotted as a good worker. That’s bad.
Well that’s about all. Outside it’s raining, hailing, sleeting, and snowing all at once.