Well our basic training is at an end. We returned yesterday noon from our three day maneuver which was really tough and by far the worst part.
First of all, we had to carry full packs which consisted of a blanket, shelter half, tent pole and pins, our toilet articles, mess kits, rifles, bayonets and belts. The whole thing weighs about 60 lbs. We hiked about 11 miles going out. We started at six o’clock Wed. night and got there about ten thirty. We slept on the ground until daylight and then pitched camp and had the rest of the morning off.
In the afternoon we went out on a problem. The next morning we went out into some woods before daylight and practiced working up to the edge of the woods as if we were to attack an enemy at dawn. Smoke screens were used to camouflage our position.
We returned to camp about six for breakfast and watched a daylight exhibition that afternoon. Saturday morning we got up at three-broke camp and hiked back a longer way which was about eighteen miles. Everyone’s feet and back were very sore and we have all been in bed since yesterday noon.
I caught a bad head cold the first night so I had a doubly hard time. My nose run for three days. I ate a raw onion last night so this morning I feel much better except that I can’t step on the balls of my feet. We couldn’t shave or take a bath out there and slept without clothes on so you can see why the hike back really told on us. Now that we have all had a good rest we look back on it as a good experience.
We were told that we will be leaving here some time next week. I guess different groups will be leaving from tomorrow on thru next Sunday. I’ll drop you a card as soon as I find out where I go.
My birthday party put on by all of you was sure fun to read about. I pictured the whole thing when I read it and of course felt kinda blue. It was mighty nice of you all to think of me like that.
This ten percent tax they just passed on all articles even affects us. Soap, toothpaste and things like that have all gone up.
You shouldn’t be called before X-mas if you are accepted. If and when you do become drafted and when you’re interviewed at Ft. Snelling tell them you want to become a meat cutter. They have one in each mess hall. It is an easy job for someone that knows meat.
The meat comes in in quarters and the fellow cuts it up into different cuts and thats about all he does. Then he has to draw chickens when we have them on Sundays. On Fridays he just has to cut the fish in pieces big enough to fry. It comes in boxes all ready cleaned and ready to cut and fry.
If you can do all that you should stand a good chance of getting a job like that. Oh yes, you would get a first class Private’s pay with a specialist rating which would probably run about $50 a month. You could have a great time on that much in the Army.
I have written 80 letters and cards now. This is my 15th to you!