Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
31 August 1943
I walk around these days and people are looking at me. They are looking at me the way they used to look at Lt. Yantis when the movie machine would break down. The machine is supposed to be repaired but I could hardly hear it up in the projection booth. When I came into my tent, Edie and Mersing hopped all over me and asked me about the machine. Edie said that when they were shouting in the picture the sound became louder and when they whispered you couldn't hear anything. Then they wanted to know if I heard all the cries for "Louder, louder" which came echoing up the hill.
By the way, my poor flashlight is sick and gives off such a very weak beam that I'm afraid for its life. For the immediate future, should the batteries or bulb use themselves up, I have available fresh replacements.
This idea of writing letters with another person at your shoulder isn't so good. Every once in a while the other person feels gabby and to be polite one must listen until the talker either wears himself out or remembers that he too is writing a letter. I probably am guilty of the same sin at times so I had better not talk too much. Nevertheless, the last fifteen minute interruption has thrown me off the thread.
We take it so calmly that the war will last for two, three or four more years yet when I stopped to reread the letter in which you mention that the insurance rates will not go up appreciably between the ages of 23 and 26, I struck home again that this war is actually robbing me of our youth. From the very beginning I predicted coming out of this war nearer my thirtieth birthday than my twentieth and time is proving me right. Just think, Aunty Clara, at a time in life when fellows like Bob Richert, Roy Miller, Bob Miles and so many others had already reached a fairly successful position I am going to find myself back down again at the bottom the pile. These three years of service for RH&R would have meant something with another four years tacked on. Perhaps I would have had a position comparable to the other little bosses around the joint; but now it will be just like coming in there at the very beginning.
I see by our Daily Bulletin that they are at last trying Seversky's theory to the full in that a momentary lull is now taking place in land action while they give the air arm a chance to prove if it can knock the Axis out of the war by itself and thus spare the lives of many fighting men. The defeat of Germany seems to be fore ordained at this writing and one wonders why Germany doesn't see that. And if she did you would think the sensible and logical thing to do would be to give up now and salvage what she can.
Its at times like that I can hear the great laughter of the war. Nations struggle and bring civilization and humanity down with them in a terrible holocaust. Then, out of the destruction and ruins of that ravaging fire of war, crawl the survivors, barely able to stand on their two feet yet proudly and joyously hailing their "victory."
I'll never forget those days when I was a child, I would ask you how it felt to have lived during the World War and I would stand in awe at a generation who had lived and felt such a historic time. And in my childish and romantic mind I would dream of how wonderful it must have been to live in any of the important world-shaking and chaotic times of the past. So far we have lived four complete years of the present history in the making episode and each day seems to be a blacker one which only makes that day of conflicts end so sweet. As Clarence said, "I would love a lifetime of the most boring peacetime ever known to the world." Anyone who wants history, chaos, war and the whole shooting matches can have them.