Friday January 8, 1943
Camp White, Oregon
Dear Aunty Clara:
This morning I just about had my head worked off with get this out and get that out "at once if not sooner". By the afternoon things began to cool off. I worked until just this minute tonight and I still have hours and hours of accumulated work ahead of me. I haven't the slightest idea as to when I will catch up on this work but while there is life there is hope. I don't intend to keep much time to myself until I do get caught up. There also is a little matter of a payroll to attend to starting Sunday and I want to make absolutely certain it goes out on time and gets out absolutely correct. Therefore, by Sunday evening I must have every last bit of work completed and have all the Service Records in order so that I may begin the payroll.
I spent the hour after supper with Cpl Censky. He liked Aunt-Aunt and thought she was a nice person and said for me to say hello to her and to you folks by proxy. He also said "my cousin" was pretty cute. He said Aunt-Aunt gave him a box of nuts. He sleeps in a room with Staff Sergeant Duvall and he himself will not only become a Sgt soon but maybe a Staff Sergeant. That will be some climb from Corporal. He sure does remind me of Ray Bernatsky.
I fell out for Reveille this morning with the HQ Platoon and my-o-my are we lackadaisical about the whole thing. No rigamarole or anything. We just wait until we are dismissed. I think I will try sleeping thru the thing tomorrow morning and see what they will say.
There is a fellow called Schultz who I struck up a curious friendship. It is a disturbing friendship for our fellow soldiers since the only time we get together we sing or whistle (and he is as good as I am; so you can just about imagine why it is a disturbing friendship).
I almost failed to get any letters or anything today but at 1700 T/5 Burkard brought me a package with some Rice Krispies from my Aunty Clara for which I thank her again and again and again. I don't think I need to go into raptures over them because they are always good. Then, along about 2200, Sgt Lester Johnson came in the mail room and came out with a letter from Dolores and another from Aunty Florence for me.
They are both swell letters. Dolores's was 5 pages long. Dolores says she is beginning "to despise me" for the easy time I am having while her "poor Benny" has to work and sweat continually. She gave me an excellent description of the RH&R Christmas party.
I still get a kick walking out to the PX or down the street with those stripes on my sleeves. Although I am beginning to settle down to normal and am forgetting about them once in a while. It is like owning a new coat (loafer) or a new pair of saddle shoes etc. For a while you can't help but be conscious that you are wearing new stuff.
I had asked Dolores if she wanted an SOS insignia and she said, "Send, friend". She will be surprised when I add a couple of corporal stripes to the insignia.
Just in case you don't know this I am going to list the different grades in the Army so that when I refer to this, that or the other fellow you will know just about how important he is or isn't. A Private is first, then a Private First Class, then a Technician Fifth Grade who wears a Corporal's stripes and a T under them, then comes Corporal, and then Technician Fourth Grade which is the Sergeant Stripes with a T under them, then a Sergeant with three stripes, and a Staff Sergeant with three stripes and an arc beneath them, then a Technical Sergeant with two arcs beneath and a First Sergeant with three arcs beneath and a lozenge in the center of the arcs and stripes, and finally a Master Sergeant with three stripes and three arcs.
There are about 2 Master Sergeants to the Regiment.
There are about 10 First Sergeants to the Regiment.
There are about 10 Technical Sergeants to the Regiment.
There are about (or I should say there should be about)
40 Staff Sergeants to the Regiment.
There are about or should be about 99 Sergeants.
I don't know the approximation of T-4s or T-5s.
There are about 110 Corporals to the Regiment.
Of course that is the Regiment at full strength and ready for the field which we are not. We do not have all the vacancies filled yet. The difference of 11 or so Corporals over Sergeants is caused by we Company Clerks. Did I tell you that the fellows in the office think Company Clerks deserve Sergeant Ratings for the amount of work they do? But that is impossible since the Table of Organization does not allow a higher rating for the job.
I did not bother standing Retreat Formation this evening after Sgt Driscoll said I need not do that the last time.
I also have missed bedcheck for the fourth or fifth time this week.
I think I will quit writing right now 2330. I will need all the sleeping time I have left for the rough day that is ahead for tomorrow.
Before I go here is something funny. Censky and I were in his room and he was fixing up his clothes. I said don't you think you should be out there directing your men and he answered, "Why? --- they know what to do". What a line Corporal. Those are the kind the men like. The kind that lets them alone.