Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
September 12, 1943
Sometimes I get awfully disgusted with the Army. For instance, I spend most of my available time this last week in constructing a footlocker so that I can live a little more conveniently than heretofore; but comes Sunday and it looks like either the footlocker must go or I must keep it under my bed where I can't open the thing up.
Like the other day when Larry and I had been picking up shells on the seashore we were driven back into town by a captain in the Air Force who commented on a remark I had made by saying, "Don't count on anything in the Army being permanent." I know too well how true that is but I always have the hope that maybe someday things will run along smoothly without change.
The Army and the people in it remind me of people back home who are always moving or rearranging the furniture in their houses. I remember the way Aunt-Aunt would come to Cicero and sure enough she would want to even change our furniture. We had kept it the same way for sixteen years but it wasn't good enough for her. Then the time after that she wanted to switch it around once again. Then there are people like the Boyers who have moved more times than you can count on your fingers. For that matter the Lopezes do the very same thing. I believe they must have lived in a half a dozen different places since moving to Milwaukee. And you even get people like Ulysses Reder who is never satisfied with his job. The pasture is always greener in the next persons back yard and the job in the next factory always seems better to him that the one he has.
Of course, I must admit, there are times when a change is a decided improvement and which is welcomed by all concerned. But I hardly think this case is such a one.
You've read in my letters from time to time about the clothes racks which first had been an individual project on my part and finally became a tent problem. Censky and Burkard had constructed an affair which did look large in the center of the tent but it was both practical, convenient and clever. It solved the problem of where we could keep our emergency equipment, our clothes and our barracks bags. But without even coming up to inspect the setup we had, Lt. Hanton told Mersing and Burkard to work on something on the lines he had seen in H& S Company. This affair was a monstrosity, decidedly inconvenient and suited to no one. When Lt. Hanton inspected the new affair, he too disliked it.
Now to have a central arrangement for all concerned is a good idea if correctly done; but after some thought and a few suggestions from Censky, who had lived in tents in Arkansas, we were told to make individual racks and to construct them on the basis of six men to a tent.
The arguments against this are: (1) quite a few tents have only five men and by constructing it on a six man basis you crowd the five unnecessarily; (2) by constructing individual racks you empty the center of the tent thus wasting additional space; (3) there is then no room for ones extra conveniences such as stands, boxes, cabinets, or footlockers.
The arguments for such an arrangement are: (1) that it makes the tents present a better appearance by having a uniform GI arrangement; (2) it will put the lazy men on the ball by making them fix up their tents which they have not done anything to; (3) I can't think of any more points.
Naturally it isn't going to be easy on the other boys either because they will have to build themselves a few footlockers in lieu of their boxes. The problem can be solved in four different ways: (1) to discard the footlocker and live out of barracks bags; (2) to put the footlocker under the bed where it can't be opened and where it will give you a sore back; (3) manage to fit it underneath the clothes rack; (4) have five lockers arranged in the center of the tent.