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marți, iulie 04, 2006

A redneck soldier's letter to parents

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 maybe all of the places are filled. I was restless at first
because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m., but 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,
and stuff, 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 two city boys that live on coffee. Their food plus yours
holds you till 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 is 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 schoolteacher. He nags some. The Capt. 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 little metal 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
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.
He joined up the same time as me. But I'm only 5'6" and 130 pounds and
he's 6'8" and weighs 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,