19: Still Alive, But Just Barely.

Thursday noon[1]

Dear Girls,

Still alive, but just barely–was running through the swamp a couple of days ago, stepped between two logs and right into a hip-deep, well camouflaged foxhole–why the hell I didn’t break my leg I don’t know. Passed out for a minute or so, first time I ever did that. And I’m catching a cold, and I’m dead tired. This has been a very tough week. We’ve gone on a stiff schedule, out in the field all day and every other night until ten. And sitting in a foxhole, frozen ground, for two hours at night is no fun. But this will be a good rugged outfit after a couple more weeks of this. Either that or I’ll be as out as three strikes! (Pretty good, G? My own.)

RE: leave–they won’t let me leave until at least March 15, we’re too damn busy now. And I agree with them, really. Sounds funny to say that the platoon couldn’t get along without me but I don’t think it could, just now.

That sounds swell about the [illegible] offer, Gretch, but I wouldn’t take it if the conditions and people don’t suit you–don’t snap at this one too soon, it’s only the first of many.

Off to dig foxholes all aft.–class tonight, and then the best part of the day–bed.


Editor’s Notes:

The obstacle courses at New River remained in use throughout the war. In May 1943, several weeks after Phil’s unit left for California, PFC Louis Thibeault snapped these pictures of his buddies running the course for fun. It is presumably one of these obstacles that caused Phil’s mishap.


[1] Date unknown, presumably late February 1943.

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