(Camp Abbot, Oregon)
Dear Mother and Dad,
What a dummy I am. I’ve been here 6 or rather 8 weeks and I never found out that almost across the street from our company is one of the nicest, quietest reading room you ever saw. Nice soft easy chairs, good light, lots of books and new magazines. The best thing about the place is, however, the fact that it doesn’t attract the noisy riffraff. Places like the battalion P.X. or the Service Club are nice, but there’s always a bunch of loudmouth dopes around to spoil it. A reading room, of course, holds no interest for them so the rest of us get a break. I’m writing this letter from the reading room right now. I’m going to spend about all the free time we get over here from now on. Now that our 6 weeks of Infantry training is over we should have an easier time of it so I can get in a little reading. I was wondering whether or not you’d send up my language books so I could do a little studying in my spare time- if any.
Boy! This has been a tough week, but with a promise of better things to come I haven’t minded it so much (I hope you’ll forgive my terrible penmanship). The other day we worked with grenades with a temperature of 0 degrees. Burr! Remember I told you we were going to throw grenades with firecrackers in them. Heh! Heh! There was TNT in them. We throw them like a football and I bet I tossed mine 200 yds. For the last 2 days we’ve had combat principles and map reading. I really shined at that.
You had better not expect any letters from me for a couple of days now because we are going on night problems both Monday and Tuesday and you know what that means.
Right now I’ve been talking to a fellow who’s almost through with his training and he says it’s pretty smooth sailing from now on. Hot dawgs! A lot more open time and all that. Some time next week we’re s’posed to get a half day off to go Christmas shopping in Bend and the word has just come through that we get Christmas day off and make it up the following Sunday. Maybe the army has a little heart after all.
I’ve noticed on our schedule for next week there’s a lot of open time. Of course, we’ll probably do something in that time, but it’ll be something that doesn’t amount to a “hellova” lot.
The only thing I dread now is our 3 week problem. It means 3 weeks of sleeping out in the snow and cold and living a rugged life. Chances are, however, that they won’t be able to have the problem here and we’ll have to go down to California for it. Oh Hell! You never can tell what’s going on here.
I’m still on the trail of A.S.T.P. and am going to keep on doing my damnedest to get it. I don’t know what my chances for O.C.S. are but I’m going to see about that too. I’m going to take all tests I can and ought to be able.
PS- It seems that when I write, it’s always the same damn mournful drivel. If there’s anything special you’d like to hear about even if it’s just the layout of the camp be sure to let me know.