Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
6 November 1943
I received your letter dated October 28th and a Chicago Daily News from October 8th. It seems such a short time ago that you were writing to me about the winter time in Chicago and here it is another one. The winter (yours) will seem to pass by quickly to us although I know that you will think it is dragging on forever and ever. There must be some sort of psychological reason for that fact. A warm season will always pass by comparatively fast while the cold weather just never does go away.
I took a short nap this afternoon and when I awoke to come back to work at one o'clock I first had to put on my shoes. I was wearing my civilians and without a shoe horn I had difficulty putting them on my feet. Somehow they represent a symbol of freedom, peace and home. I wondered how soon I would have to throw them away because they are wearing out. Then for a flash it seemed as if the war wouldn't last much longer than the pair of shoes will. The war and the time spent in the army therefore seemed to be as insignificant as the life of a pair of shoes. In no time at all a person gets a new pair of shoes and forgets all about the ones he tossed away. That is the way the war appeared to me at that moment. So short, insignificant and like a nap in the afternoon which upon waking up once more can so quickly be forgotten.
Then, after supper, I came down here to the office and in the twilight hours I sat outside the front door watching9 the fading of the day, the cars going by on the road, the scenery and the soldiers walking by. The whole set up had an atmosphere of a lazy Spring evening, sitting on the back porch back home, watching the shoppers on 22nd Street, the cars, and listening to the noises. Our campsite is becoming mellow with age. Several of the gravel sidewalks which had been laid down when we first came here and which were later discarded upon building the canopy have now grown over with grass. In fact all the barren spots caused by the building up of the place have returned to their original state making the picture pretty. Our present walks are lined with large stone rocks which now seem to be firmly embedded in the soil with the grass growing up on all sides of them and thru the openings between the rocks.
If it wasn't for that fact that a fellow belongs home and wants to be there among his family more than anything else in the whole world, this kind of life would be perfect. As it is impossible to be content since every waking moment reminds you that home is where you want to be and home is where you want to return to.
There are American boys all over the world now who, years ago when they were children, wanted grow up and visit foreign lands, travel and do things. They've got that chance now and see their dreams coming true yet somehow their heart isn't in it.
It just shows to go that money, wealth, travel and great places doesn't mean very much when you have to achieve them at the cost of your home life and personal living. A soldier who never had a home and who in civilian life didn't care where he went or what he did, should be eating this Army life up. A soldier gets a free trip to strange parts of the world such as Attu, North Africa, England and the South Sea Islands. He not only gets paid for it but gets an increase in pay the minute he starts on one of these excursions. If he has a family he receives even still more money. He has 10,000 dollars worth of insurance at the cheapest premium there is. Food, clothing and equipment and shelter and all expenses are free. Traveling stores go with him and sell things a cost price. He pays no taxes, no social security, his entertainment is free. He receives free medical attention and has the world's best doctors and dentists at his service. Yet in spite of all these material advantages, I'll bet that even the roustabout soldier would rather be back in mufti in the United States.