Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
8 November 1943
There are four bags of mail ready for distribution back in the company although there is very little V-mail. Most of it is packages and I'm not even hoping anymore. They will come when they will come and that is all there is to it.
After coming down this morning to do the work that is required, I had the rest of the day off. I spent the morning by beginning a study of 100 French words and their pronunciation but soon fell fast asleep on my cot. I woke up in time for the noon meal after which Larry and I went to the PX to buy five boxes of vanilla wafers. For about an hour to an hour and a half in the afternoon I did study and will do a little bit more tonight. Meager as is my present effort at brushing up on the language, it constitutes the most sustained piece of study I have ever done on my own.
About three o'clock I went down to the showers and took a nice long refresher. By that time it was four o'clock and time to write my first letter of the day to you; so I'm back at the office where I started from early this morning.
The first thing I noticed was today's issue of the South Pacific Daily News which says that the Russians have recaptured Kiev. I suppose you already know just what that means and perhaps by the time you receive this letter there will have been a great deal more added to this recent push of the Russians. They are almost out of their territory and it wouldn't be any too surprising if soon they would be invading Germany or her satellite states.
The movies this evening will be run by Gordon but I'm going to drive him up. I only hope that all the mail can be distributed before I have to leave for the show.
Some unexpected developments came up regarding family allotments and the upper grades of enlisted men. As a result, we are going to be busy for a while straightening out the situation. The monthly roster came in today and has to be checked for various information and the payroll must definitely be started Tuesday. In addition to that there is some unfinished business on allotments which has been pending for several days and must be cleared up. All in all it means that the vacation is over and we will begin working like dogs again. Come to think of it, I've never seen dogs work --- so let's forget that remark.
There was a notice some time back that the Army has the policy of giving its men overseas furloughs in their respective theaters of operation providing they have served six months in that theater and if the transportation is available. That latter bit is a catch clause because everyone knows that to travel anyplace one has to have a double class A priority rating and the situation doesn't improve any the closer one gets to the combat zones. Nevertheless, Larry mentioned the fact to his wife and now she is clamoring for him to come home the first chance he gets. He told her just what it was and even then she just read what she wanted to so he has thrown his hands up in the air and says he shouldn't have even mentioned furloughs. We'll get a furlough alright --- when the war is over.
Say, I ran across a peculiar word today. Do those chenille bed spreads remind you of so many little caterpillars humped up on the sheet? I never thought of it that way until today when I discovered that in French that means caterpillar. I don't doubt but that is where the word originated.
After a series of events prevented me from getting my haircut when I wanted it, it has now reached the stage where it is again so long that it will be necessary for me to get one within a few days.
The flies were so pesky today when I began reading the French grammar on my bed that I had to put my head net over my face to keep them from landing on my eye, then my nose, then on my lip and buzzing around my ear. They just don't know when to stay chased away but persist I coming back again and again until they are nuisances.