34: A Damn Good Battalion Problem.

[Postmarked October 6, 1943]

Dear Girls,

A long, good night’s sleep and I feel much, much more chipper. I really like this life, sleeping on the deck under the stars, living out of the pack on your back, marching day after day, getting hard and fit, sunburned, and acquiring that amazingly satisfactory feeling of being able to take care of yourself in the open. Living next to the ground and friendly with it–getting on good terms with dusty roads, learning to trust your feet and legs to do anything. To appreciate clear water at the end of the day.

When I get out of here, some year or other, I want to spend my vacations camping in the mountains–compared to it a vacation at the seaside seems pale–the only thing I don’t like about what we’re doing is that we can’t loaf around, do what we want.

In re Carl, Gretch–I think you’re doing right–as nice a guy as he is, he’s not for you–and after all, it’s good for a woman to have a man pining away for her once in a while.[1]

Two days later, and now I am really bushed–all this stuff that I’ve been beating my gums about was as nothing–but it was a damn good battalion problem–the boys really put out, fighting, maneuvering and cliff-climbing for two whole days without stop. The battalion did very well, won the battle–now I’ve got a report to write up–I was an umpire, for once I’ve got a chance to tell majors & colonels what I think they’re doing wrong. I don’t want to miss this chance.



[1] With Al Tate off in the Army, Gretchen set her sights on “Carl”–last name unknown–who appears to have been a bit of a bore.

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