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Letter From a Farm Kid

18
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Dear Ma and Pa,

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

I was restless at first because you got 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 country is nice but awful flat 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.
All 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,

Alice
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