Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
9 September 1943
The news of the Italian surrender spread through the camp like wildfire. It seems incredible that they should have capitulated so soon after the land invasion had begun. The shattering effect of the act on German morale gives rise to the hope that we can expect just as sudden of a fall in that country. Perhaps the Germans will realize that their position is worse than hopeless and give in. Something like the ending of the war between Italy and the Allies renews ones faith in the outcome of the entire struggle. Many times have I fell to thinking that the war would never never end; but something like this turning up out of the clear sky stirs my imagination to such an extent that I can visualize the day I pack my barracks bag for the last time and type up my discharge papers. Coming home before I am twenty-five wouldn't be hard to take after anticipating coming back a doddering old man of 27.
Our workday today was supposed to consist of beginning the payroll. Unfortunately I never reached the stage where I could begin mine and it has yet to be done. From what the other boys tell me after working on it for about a half a day, they say it is a comparatively easy one without many complications.
I received your letter of August 30 today. I received none for the 29th and you do not mention having omitted that day so I probably will get it within the next day or so.
I think Senor J. Gonzales has the slant which is more nearly correct in regards to my weight. Although, I have no scale around with which to weigh myself, I feel that I am much closer to 160 than to 150. In fact, I feel heavier than 160 when I go swimming, I don't think I look like just a lot of skin and bones.
No, Aunty Clara, the mail clerk didn't double cross me and sent out that letter to Lana Turner but the fellows all think he did. My name has hit the Bulldozer twice in connection with writing letters to Lana T. and I have a swell time kidding the fellows along who ask me to give them the low down on these letters I write to Miss T. I've got 'em so mixed up now that they don't know what nickname to call me by anymore. In full my name is now, Cpl. Roman "Lana Turner", "Romeo", "Junior" Klick. I don't think the letter I did write would have been the kind to get me a picture but the fellows think that soon I should be getting a life sized portrait of the gal. It would be great fun if you could find one in the dime store and send it to me. Then I can pass it off as the answer to my letter. That will just be something more to joke about and make the duration pass a little bit faster.
I feel very dirty and filthy as I have not been near water since Monday. Tomorrow I will go swimming or bust. The last time Larry and I went swimming we saw an empty peanut can beneath the diving board so I told him we ought to take it out. He went down after it but overshot the mark and did not have the wind left to turn around and pick it up. I went down, also overshot the mark but returned to get the can anyway. That started the contest then and there to see who could swim longest under the water skimming along the river bed. We both lasted about the same length of time but we were pushed when we surfaced. After being away from that sort of exercise it winds a person fast. I can remember the time when I would dive in the Morton tank and swim the first length underwater and turn around about a 1/4 of the way before I had to come up for air. I guess that comes with advancing age.
Larry just walked in from the show. The problem is this: Should I be sociable and sit with him until he is finished writing or should I follow my desire to go to the tent and rest my weary bones? This is the $64 question and I will tell you the answer tomorrow.