Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Letter 230- August 21, 1945

August 21, 1945
(Derdingen, Ger.)

Dear Mudder and Dad,

I’ve gotten… (I love this word even if it is wrong) terribly behind in my letter writing again you see. I haven’t received a letter in several days but that’s not the reason why. I’ve just been too restless to write. It’s getting worse too. All anyone can talk about is when are we going home. Today we received a shipment of overcoats which didn’t make us feel any better. As the war comes to an end the men are beginning to assert themselves as citizens and the obedient attitude of soldiers is disappearing. It’s no breach of discipline or anything of the kind. No great task lies before us any longer, however; and the natural American independent feeling is returning. The officers used to say, “you must do this or that because of the difficult task that lies ahead.” What can they say now? As a result the men are becoming more outspoken in the Open Forums which the Army backs. We call it our “Bitch Session”.

While we were fighting some people said we’d be soon far more interested in public life, government and so forth; and we laughed. Where a man has a rather doubtful lease on life it doesn’t seem to matter. It does now.

Lately the chief bone of contention has been the sending of combat veterans from Europe to Japan for the Army of Occupation—the 95th Division in particular since the others saw very little action over here. There’s a deep resentment welling up in the various Armored and Infantry divisions over the lack of consideration they are getting. It’s making a nasty and dangerous division in the army between the forward and rear echelons, neither of which is really at fault. Some War Department heads, however, fail to recognize the difference between combat and non-combat troops. Maybe we’re wrong but we can’t help but feel that men who risked their lives, lived in misery and often as not spilled their blood are entitled to more consideration than those who merely had to do some hard work. Oh hell. Just wait ‘till I get to vote…….!

Now how af (that ain’t it)

Now, how about a nice package of candy, cookies and various other good things to eat. The food we’ve had lately has been fierce. First they put salt instead of sugar in the pudding & then somehow some lighter fluid got into the coffee the other morning. I was afraid to smoke all day.
Better say goodnight now.

Best Love,

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