Dear Mudder and Dad,
You’ll note the date. One October 4, two years ago as the calendar reads a young man I know left home to start in on a great adventure. God! If he’d only known then what lay ahead of him.
I guess it’s been a harder two years for you than me. It seems like a strange terrible dream—with a happy ending, however. Sometimes I wonder if there ever had been a time when I wasn’t just a small part of an immense machine.
It’s a funny thing to watch an army die around you. For two years I’ve been part of a great force, a juggernaut the throbbing pulse of which I was always aware. Men came and went but it went on as if it would forever. I’ve always hated war with its death and misery, waste and stupidity but still I’ve had a deep pride in this machine. It represented so much—you, America and myself. The only time in my life that I was ready to fight to the death was when it was threatened. And now it’s dying. Our division is just a shadow of its former self. It’s the same with every outfit. It’s a happy and natural ending though.
Well, the division, that is what’s left of it, is supposed to sail December 15th. I may with and then again maybe not. If the “close out force” needs more men I leave the Division, if not I stay. They ask me if I can drive a truck? No! A jeep? No! Pound a typewriter? No! Crate equipment? No! In short, I’m the most stupid, useless person in the E.T.O. That’s exactly what I want them to think. Being smart never did me any good; maybe being a dope will.
I’m still waiting on my pass.
P.X. rations are coming in so I’ll have to close here. (that’s a new one, huh?) So…