in the Marine Corps

Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well.  Hope you are. Tell Brother  Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps
beats working for old man  by a  mile. Tell them to join up quick before
all of the places are  filled.

I was restless at first because you get  to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m. But I
am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell  Walt and Elmer all you do before
breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some  things.  No hogs to slop, feed to
pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to  lay.
Practically nothing.

Men got to shave but it is not so bad,  there’s warm water. Breakfast is strong
on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal,  eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on
chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried  eggplant, pie and other regular food, but
tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit  by the two city boys that live on
coffee. Their food,  plus yours,  holds you  until noon  when you get fed
again. It’s no wonder  these city boys can’t walk much.

We go on ‘route marches,’ which the  platoon sergeant says are long walks to
harden us.  If he thinks so, it’s not my  place to tell him different.  A ‘route
march’ is about as far as to our mailbox  at home. Then the city guys get sore
feet and we all ride back in  trucks.

The sergeant is like a school teacher.  He nags a lot.  The Captain is like the
school board.  Majors and colonels  just ride around and frown. They don’t
bother you none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with  laughing.  I keep getting medals for
shooting.  I don’t know why..  The  bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head
and don’t move, and it ain’t  shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home.
Al l you got to do is lie there  all comfortable and hit it.  You don’t even
load your own cartridges They come  in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand  combat training.  You get to wrestle
with them city boys.  I have to be real  careful though, they break real easy.
It ain’t like fighting with that ole bull  at home.  I’m about the best they
got in this except for that Tug  Jordan  from  over in Silver  Lake .. I only
beat him once…  He joined up the same time as  me, but I’m only 5’6′ and 130
pounds and he’s 6’8′ and near 300 pounds  dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry  and join before other fellers get onto
this setup and come stampeding  in.

Your loving  daughter,


(thanks, rea!!)