Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/p SF Cal
9 April 1945
I'm still alive and kicking although I've got to admit that the Grenade Range had me scared. Every precaution is taken to insure one's personal safety but one gets to thinking of how it might go off too quick or maybe fall out of your hand etcetera. I couldn't pull the pin out of the grenade at first and then when I did and threw it, it turned out to be a dud anyway. There was a built up sensation inside of me that I was going to fumble it and have it fall besides me in the sandbag cell which I threw it from so after I got rid of the thing, I had the most awful sensation of thinking it fell in back of me, I looked, couldn't see it and the next few seconds were just suspended while I waited for it to explode either outside or inside. Yet, no explosion ever did occur. What a combat man I would make. And another thing. Before going onto the range there was the Ride of Death as it is popularly called. We get our grenades quite a distance from the range and then the men that are going to fire it, hold them in their hands as they climb all over a jeep which drives you up to the firing line. With a jeep load of fellows, each carrying grenades, you begin a precarious ride when any moment by some unforeseen accident one of the grenades could go off. Now Hipp and I just wasted some thirty minutes talking the situation over because he was out on the range today also.
Holy smokes, yesterday I went to the Medic to get a treatment for the rash under my arm and Kuhn fixed me up swell, he got rid of the infection and then swabbed it all over with a purple solution and put two pieces of gauze over the purple paint so that it wouldn't ruin my shirts. Tonight I go over again as per instructions thinking that each day will bring it that much sooner to being done away with but what happens, the arm feels worse now than before. What happens but a medic swabs the infected area with alcohol as if he were washing windows and irritated the entire area. On top of that they did not have any more of that purple paint which is a smoother downer. The arm feels rough and sore and I'm sorry I went for the treatment this evening.
There was no mail at all today either in the morning or in the afternoon so there will be no answering being done.
Incidentally, we are having ice cream at a goodly rate now that the ice machine is working and we not only had it at noon today but also at the evening meal. On top of that, the beer drinkers are having their beer delivered ice cold every evening. In fact, we are having things in general a lot better here than we ever had them in New Caledonia.
The big talk-talk of the day is the possibility of our going home on furlough. You see, Aunty Clara, the time has come for us to decide whether we want furlough or rotation as next month we complete our two years overseas and the figures etcetera are always prepared a month in advance. Whereas a year ago no one would consider taking a furlough but would rather wait a bit longer and get rotation, today they are almost all flocking to the furlough plan. Our Personnel Section is working under a handicap though in that four of the seven men in it are from the old outfit and are finishing their two years in May. They are Sackett, Molyneaux, Osis and myself. Now the catch of it is that we can not all take furlough at the same time because then how would the department function. If Sackett goes, either Jack and I have to take his place. If Jack or I go, Osis would fall heir to our jobs as he has been selected as the company clerk most deserving of any advancement which may come up. And so it goes. However, Jack has temporarily at least helped solve the dilemma slightly by signing up for rotation. He goes on the principal that he doesn't want to come back and should he take furlough, he would probably go awol instead of returning at the proper time and that way only get himself in a heck of a lot of trouble and ruin any of the chances etcetera he has built up for himself in the past four years. If he sticks to that, it will be easier for the rest of us to get furloughs if we ever get them. Here are the possibilities. Should Sackett go first around July or August and some time in October or November show up again, then another fellow go for the next three months, maybe next year I'll get a chance to see you again. In otherwords, it is nice to talk and to dream about but when it comes right down to the practicalness, it just isn't. Even Robby in his last letter says he doesn't think his chances for furlough were so good. I guess he got pretty tired of watching Charley Matcha waiting for his boat home.
The news came over the radio this evening that the air force in Europe now considers the bombing of Germany merely as a "mop up" operation. I wonder how soon the army will think the same way. Now this waiting period is becoming prolonged (something like the anticipation that preceded D-Day last year). Like D-Day, everyone knew it was bound to come yet the big question When? was always gnawing at ones innards until finally it came. Now we all know that the nation of Germany is whipped and it is now just a matter of time before she caves in completely but When? Just how long is she going to be bull-doggish about it and keep hanging on. Every day we have to keep our air arm and our armies over there, means just so much longer for the war to last on this side of the world.
You know, Aunty Clara, the more Cicero Life's you send to me and the more people's names I read about who I knew nothing of, the more I think that maybe I wasn't such a good Ciceronian after all because I moved around in just my own little circles of acquaintances formed first at Wilson School, then in Morton High School and finally in Morton Junior College. Then after college I just about stopped making new Cicero acquaintances but had my own circle of friends down at work. All of which adds up to the fact that if I ever want to be elected to the Cicero Library board, I'm going to have to do some powerful fast knowing of people when I get home. In a town the size of Cicero, it is pretty hard to win an election on one's personal popularity but I believe it can be done. For instance, there are but 64,000 individuals in the town and that means a maximum effective voting population of the vicinity of 44,000. Now that 44,000 doesn't all come out to vote but just to be on the safe side one would want about 20,000 votes for himself to win an election. The way to get them would be to become known in the places where the most votes could be obtained. Maybe the opponent won't be an ex-vet so joining the VFW and the American Legion and whatever other type of military organization clubs there are will garner the veteran votes. Then there is the full value of a strong church membership which I haven't got but under circumstances would easily cultivate. I don't think it is too wrong to do a thing like that because don't all undertakers in town belong to one church and their wives to another? Then there is or are the alumni of Morton High and Junior College, Stamp Clubs, Elks, International Relations Clubs, and quite a few other fraternal organizations all of which help in making one's name known. It has always intrigued me to think that if a person was determined enough, he could actually win any election he sought in the town if he knew the people personally. I know, "Dream on, Romeo, dream on."
Since it is still early in the evening and I am in no mood for doing my work although I should, I'm going to continue writing and next on the list will be one of my relations. In that cold hearted tone, I refer to Aunty Florence or Uncle Jack or maybe both.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman