February 27, 1944
(Camp Abbot, Oregon)
Dear Mudder and Dad,
This is “posiloutely” our last official day in training. Yesterday we graduated and this morning we turned in our equipment. Ever since we’ve been sitting on our tails in the barracks taking it easy—quite a novelty around here. Well, it’s sure swell to be all through. I’m no longer a trainee but a full fledged Combat Engineer soldier. HORSE---!
Yesterday we went out and paraded around like a lot of damn fools in a snowstorm for about 2 hours and 45 minutes and then the Colonel, the old fossil, got up and made the following speech. ‘Trainees! I (ha! Ha!) have made you strong, sturdy, healthy, robust, and tough! You are now ready to go into combat. I (great emphasis) have made you the best Engineers in the world. May God speed you in your future battles.” It’s a wonder God got any mention at all.
I wrote a letter to Bishop Gooden and another to Ann and Reiney last night, so I am caught up at least a little bit on my letter writing. The note to the “Bish” is a veritable masterpiece of linguistic manipulation. I used just enough four bit words to make it good. You probably already read the note I sent to Ann and Reiney.
I sure wish they’d come out and tell me exactly what they’re going to do with me. Oh well, SNAFU. I wish I had something interesting to tell you but I ain’t so---------