Giessen, Germany (Hesse)
Dear Mudder and Dad,
I suppose you were about beginning to wonder why I haven’t written again and I must say that it’s the same old reason. I haven’t been receiving any mail from you. This morning, however, I got a letter dated Jan. 1. As far as I can see there is no reason why it must take 20 days for a letter to get to me. Even during the worst part of the fighting the mail situation was better than that.
Well, what do you think about the new point arrangement? In every other theatre men with 47 points are on their way home with the exception of the ETO. And they say that I won’t be on my way until the middle of April. It certainly is quite a comedown. I really don’t feel that this is the fault of the army however, and I believe that the theatre commanders who are taking the worst beating are the least to blame of anybody. They get orders on exactly what they must do and they have no choice on how they’re going to do them. These big shots back in the states seem to think that the U.S. can maintain a major occupation force over here without any troops. That is stupid no matter how one looks at it. I’m afraid the real trouble is that the majority of people don’t understand just what the situation is and that those who do know are keeping it to themselves for certain reasons that are beyond me. I believe General Eisenhower himself is as unaware of the real problem as are the people. I know that there is hardly a single soldier who actually fought in the war who is in favor of a complete demobilization of our armed forces. In that way we would not only lose everything that we fought for but would lose all the prestige that we now hold. Today everyone in Europe looks to America as their only hope for a decent future. This may sound like so much bull but after one gets a slant on these people he realizes that is so. They’re all afraid of us yet they all respect and trust us. If we leave altogether they will get the feeling that America has gone isolationist again and then will come despair and the usual results.
There is a great deal of aap—beg pardon—misapprehension now about troops over here. The general consensus of opinion among government representatives and even high army officials is that there are very few combat troops left in the ETO when just the opposite is true. The B Bag article is just a sample. Actually there has been less agitation by actual fighting soldiers than by the others. Maybe this is because the combat soldier feels himself so fortunate to still be in one piece that complaining would be an ungrateful act.
There certainly is a lot of difference between leaving for home on the 15 of April and on the 5 of February as was promised only about 2 weeks ago. There is only one thing that I can say in favor of the new setup and that is that we at least know what the score is now and we can base all our suppositions on some concrete facts.
Well, glory Be! If there ain’t anudder strike in the news. What’s going to happen anyway? Some writers for TIME say they never saw the U.S. in such a state of selfishness. I really don’t know what to think. I always tell these Krauts that the strikes are very praiseworthy and they express American freedom and such, but I wonder if in the end everybody isn’t going to be on strike against everybody else. We got it all arranged here where the LSC will go on strike against the Railhead Co. and so on.
The weather here continues to be quite a mystery. Here it is the middle of January and no snow and no ice and not very much rain even. I certainly don’t mind it but according to everybody in Giessen there should be a couple of feet of snow on the ground. I’m just getting over the worst cold that I’ve had in a couple of years now. I even had a touch of sinus which I’ve never been bothered by before that I can remember. Since yesterday my nose has been running like the devil and today I feel pretty good.
You can forget about my “dark secret” now. Like everything else in this army that sounds good it didn’t pan out. Even my rating doesn’t seem to be coming through for about half a dozen foolish reasons like “We can’t find this record.” You know the usual army runaround. It no longer angers me; it merely bores me.
I guess that about does it for today. I’ll write again soon.