• Flea Market Love Letters

July 19, 1943.





Hi Ranny:

Give me some skin boy. Say I was sure glad to hear from you. You seem to be going pretty good with this army. But how the hell did you get through basic so quick. I’ve be in before you and still have two or three weeks to go yet. Boy you sure can ask the questions, well here goes, I’ll try and answer them.


First of all I’ll tell you what kind of camp I’m in. When we first came here this division wasn’t even started so we fooled around fixing up the barracks clearing fields and woods and getting a system for everything. It wasn’t until about three or four weeks later that we started our basic. This Glider Infantry is pretty tough at times we get practically the same training as the paratroops, but never make the mistake of referring to use as paratroopers because we don’t go for it and besides all of us in here think we’re pretty tough and damn better than those jerks.


Myself I started out from the rear of our 60 mim. Mortar and been in the mortar squad ever since. Last week we had our gunners test and I had the highest score in the battalion. So I’m first gunner. At least until today. Starting Monday I’m taking over a squad of my own and boy its an 8 ball squad if ever there ever was one. And the best part of it is that I have to load them than a 24 hour problem this week and I don’t even know who is first gunner and how good they are.


Yes I’ve fired the MI. I see by your picture that you shot the Springfield MI. Well we [unreadable] We only had one week with it on the range and I made sharp shooter. I also shot the carbine for a week. That is the type the weapons platoon uses. With that I made expert.


I know you sort of like the army life. Here we can take it can’t we Ranny. Just keep on the ball and you’ll go places. Boy, I sure miss those dances. We have a few here but as you said they can’t compare with our dances at home. Remember the night we had dinner at my house. Some of went to the dance and some just donated the money and went out the car. I wonder who that was. Gee, that's one day I’ll remember even if we didn’t do much. I always think about that and sort of laugh to myself.


That’s one thing we have to look forward to. Don’t forget Ranny all of us have a date to keep at the Elms when this is over with. You, Whitey, Harry, Matt, Russell, Joe and the rest of the gang. That’s why we’re in here buddy, but we’re going to finish it. So keep pitching and don’t let them get you down. When ever things seem to go wrong just remember that there is someone back home, thinking of you and praying for you all the time. So what ever the road is Ranny, keep your back up and show them you can take it. We’re all going for you kid.


As you said Ranny, letters from home do make you feel good. Yes most of them do write to me I get my share I hope they keep coming.


Well I’ve told you about myself. The food at first was lousy but now its damn good. None of us kick any more. I didn’t know you were sick. I guess I owe you an apology for not writing to you sooner.


Well, Ranny it was swell hearing from you and don’t forget to keep writing. I like to hear fro you. Thanks for your picture is darn good. I’m returning the favor with one of mine.


Your Buddy,

Steve


P.S. I haven’t heard from Harry yet. Whitey wrote to me a couple of days ago here’s his address: Edward Kit A.S. Company 715 U.S. Navy Training Station Great Lakes, Illinois


It seems I forgot to tell you about the towns around here. We have about a half dozen small towns around here, I've only been out twice. The larger towns are about 60 to 80 miles away. I went to one of the best times I went to Charlotte N.C. 80 miles away.


So take care of your self Ranny be a good Soldier and God Bless You.


Steve


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