Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
October 4, 1943
I received your letters of the 22nd and the 23rd this afternoon after lunch time. Our lunch time has been cut down to thirty minutes from the hour we formerly enjoyed. The reason: we are remembering first that we are soldiers and second that we have a job to do. Still a riddle? I'll explain it a little more thoroughly. You see, among old Army men who grew up in twenty years of peace time America, the drill is the thing. A soldier was not a soldier until he could snap the execution of commands with West Point thoroughness. That was what soldiering was. In the new army created to win a war, the job is the essential thing. Win the war by doing the job well and then let's go home. So we are now going to combine the two into one. Every morning from 7 to 7½ we will parade around being soldiers and then at 7½ we will go to our jobs. Of course, we can't keep parades from winning the war so we will have to compensate for that half hour by taking it away from our lunch hour. So there, that is the story.
Today was my day off and surprisingly enough, I had most of it off. You see, here again this day off requires an explanation. It is a day off from Personnel work but should the company want to turn in any reports and the like, I must be available to them. As a result I am never completely free but must be down in the morning to fill out the daily reports and perhaps a few times in the day I will come over to do a little work.
Unfortunately, the lazy atmosphere of these South Sea Islands is getting me down and all I did was sleep and read. In the morning I slept while the flies and mosquitoes bit me pretty near to death. In the afternoon, I began reading the Atlantic Monthly with the same persistent attention of the flies et al. Therefore, I rigged up the mosquito bar and spent the remainder of the afternoon in comfort.
Larry was not on guard duty today so I had a chance to talk to him from time to time during the course of the daylight hours. On one occasion we got to discussing Medford and the things in it. I knew it from visits to the place while he had first hand knowledge of it, having lived there with his wife for a few months. It almost seemed like talking about the old home town to reminisce about the different theaters, department stores, the streets, the ice cream parlors, the golf course, the city square and everything which makes Medford. I repeat once again that in the case I should not get back home, I want you to go to Oregon for yourself to see what a grand place it is.
No work today but work tonight. Anyway that is the program lined out for me right now as Lt Yantis asked Gordon to take the movie machine to this new outfit. Since we have never been there before and it is quite a distance out, Gordon asked me if I would do him the favor of coming along. He's soloed the machine several times now so shouldn't need any help along that line but I guess I'm just soft-hearted enough to realize that if it were me going up there the first time, I would like to have someone along too. Therefore, I promised him I would go up the island with him. The movie is that old favorite which we saw once during my summer vacation and then again at the Villas theater in the Fall of the year --- "Moontide".
Last night, very late, I started a letter to Aunty Florence but I never did finish it. I also meant to write to my Dad but never got around to that. I'll do both things for sure this evening no matter how late I come in because, goodness knows, for the first time since being on the Island I feel completely rested. I'll save the comments, queries and answers to your letters for this evening also.