Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 75
c/p SF Cal
13 Aug 45
It is in a rather depressive mood that I begin to write this evening's letter. While my hopes were steadily waning throughout the day, I still in all postponed writing until after the ten o'clock news broadcast at which time it had been announced earlier in the day, the news, if any, would be announced. If the Japs weren't serious about the peace proposals, why did they go through all that trouble to stir up the world? If it was to give the world an insight as to what peace would be like so that after the opportunity faded with a Jap refusal they (the world) would offer more liberal terms to get back the shattered dream, it won't work because even though people largely will be sorrowed by what came so close, they will henceforth never rest until the enemy is utterly crushed and beaten. Once having had the door of peace slammed in their face, they will not much care opening it again until they themselves do it with complete conquest plus the satisfaction of kicking the god-emperor off his sacred thrown/throne. That is, if this delay means refusal. But what else can the delay portend? Merely to say yes, shouldn't require the amount of time they are taking. O gee, Aunty Clara, the lifting of the veil about events to occur after V-J day only showed too imperatively that the war must end now or soon if I ever want to get back home in my twenties. Just think, two days ago with the possibility strong that the war might end, authoritative sources were quoted as saying three million men would be discharged the first year after V-J day. And it is a cinch guys with 54 points would either be at the tail end of the three million or at the beginning of the second three million. So, if the war goes on until Japan is thoroughly crushed and all pockets of resistance mopped up, it may still take to 1948 and beyond before I get home.
That is about all I feel like writing tonight but if the war goes on, I guess I'll go on with it, so I'll continue the narrative of the day's activities. To begin with, I came up to the office quite early so that I could get a good start on the Morning Reports and allied which I had to turn in the first thing. As it was the M/R's were late in getting in on account of because one of the clerks made a terrible mistake and had to do the entire thing over. That is something I have no control over, yet it makes my supervision look bad. Therefore, this evening, with big Morning Reports in the offing by all companies, I had two clerks finish theirs already and I'm now waiting for the third one to come back up and pound his out. There is only one drawback. After one of the clerks left, I discovered he had left out quite a few remarks which he will have to add tomorrow morning. Fortunately they do not change his strength figures and he will not have to do any part of the Morning Report over again.
That was the big job today, getting those morning report adjustments out. But there was other work to do and I typed up transmittals, letters, true copies, rosters and the like. And that went on even past the regular working hours so I was down in the office from six thirty to nine o'clock (am to pm) working. And the work still is not done. The reason for the haste is that we have had a sneak IG inspection pulled on us. It begins tomorrow. As a general rule we are forewarned that the Inspector General will come at such and such a date in the week or two-week future. This time we received advance notice of one day and as a result the big items had to be checked and corrected throughout the battalion - not only M/R's and Sick Books either.
I was Charge of Quarters and was so busy that I didn't even take my full hour off for chow either. In the am I took off forty-five minutes and in the pm I took off a half an hour or less. Tomorrow morning and afternoon is going to be a repeat performance of today with additional trimmings. For instance, before seven o'clock tomorrow morning I have to have most of the morning reports finished, I have to see that there is a hasp and lock on my files, and most of all lay out all my clothes for a clothing check. The army will always remain the army. Here I wasted hours last week when we finally moved into the cement floored tents, fixing my footlocker so everything would be put away perfect and in place. Now I have to drag everything out and have several hours work to do putting it back together again. Lately I have been rather drastic about getting rid of all excess articles. Never again do I want to be laden down with all sorts of personal items. GI stuff alone is enough to take care of. And the less you have in the tent, the neater you can keep the arrangement of things. Also, in event I must dispose of my shelves, I want to be able to survive on the limited storage space I will then have.
Say, this evening we had an excellent snack down in the mess hall. Bob Tiffany baked some swell cake with jelly frosting on it and we could have all we could eat. I had three slices and a cup full of coffee. The coffee was okay tonight and I enjoyed it. It is funny but when people ask me to bring them back a cup of coffee and I do, they seldom drink it. The reason is that I just automatically pour in the coffee and never think that they might not be able to drink it straight. They usually can't.
Gosh, the eleven o'clock news was just on and they said the Jap note hasn't even reached Berne, Switzerland yet and that in Washington everyone is becoming puzzled at the Jap delay. They hint that perhaps the Japs themselves are undecided over the new proposal and are having a life and death debate on acceptance or no. But, of course, by the time you read all these words, whatever the outcome may be must be ancient history by now.
Sidetracking a bit, wouldn't it be funny to write letters in the light of future reading. Something like this: "Here it is the closing days of August, two weeks since the Jap peace proposals and world shaking excitement and celebration. Way back when I wrote this letter on 13 Aug 45, I projected myself in the future and actually transformed myself into the day 27 Aug 45. Although now that the day is here, I am not. Funny too, how two weeks ago I sat in this very room on this very day, today, and wrote this letter. I looked out the window and watched those leaves on the catalpa tree, eaten up as they are, moving in the wind. And then I heard those faint sounds which are now occurring out on 22nd Street. Hear them?"
Okay, okay, so I'm losing me mibs. Maybe I'll go all the way if the war isn't over now. The new boss, Lt Kuras took over the reins today although it is way too early to pronounce any judgment. In fact, he just sat at his desk, absorbing himself in different rules and regulations so he can begin getting the feel of Personnel work again - and he didn't say ten words to us all day long. Lt Suiter, however, gripped his new job as Adjutant by the teeth and held on for fair. You've got to give that boy credit for today's showing, he acted as if he had been Battalion Adjutant all his life. Sackett didn't come down for a hour or so in the morning and old Jack Molyneaux immediately jockeyed himself into Sacky's desk. And, meanwhile, I'm pinned down to my desk so that I haven't a ghost of a chance anymore. But whenever Sacky gets back, Jack disappears for hours and doesn't do any work. Today he said Suiter was getting on him to get out the paper and I told him I couldn't be helping him today or tomorrow because of the inspection. I wish they would forget that whole idea of a paper. Here in the Philippines there is no need for such an enterprise with all the outside diversions.
Today was also okay as far as the mail delivery went. I received a Reader's Digest for July today and now I'm kicking myself around for not noticing if it had my new address on it before throwing away the wrapper. I'll have to ask Lynd if any other Digests came in. If not I know that they receive the change of address and mine came ahead of the rest being routed through 709. Also, your letters of August 2d and 3d arrived today. How is lunching at the "Old Heidelberg"? It seems that everyone in Chicago speaks of it with such casualness and familiarity but I've yet to be inside the joint. Is it worthwhile going there? What makes it such a famous place? About the double hearing of mine, I do not know just what causes it when I have a cold, but I wouldn't doubt that the bum ear has something to do with the strange acoustic reaction. O well, all that makes up part of my life, just a lot of little aches, pains and minor disturbances.
Gee whiz, the way I've just been getting in my letters to you under the line everyday, I've stopped writing to others even though I haven't intended not writing. And most seriously, I have not yet written Mrs Reed my thanks for arranging everything for your birthday that I had asked her to.
Gosh, that Nervino must be an old man now. Remember how he was seventy years old and he helped cut down that tree in front of his house? That again proves that mere chronological age is no indication of how old your really are. People just don't age year by year according to the calendar. Some people like Aunty Florence, have a very slow aging process and prolong their youth indefinitely while the Matchas, for example, are people who show their age quickly and are even older actually than their years account for. Even between the physical and mental, the ages differ. A person may be very old physically yet his thoughts and interests may be keenly youthful. This isn't being gruesome, but since Nervino doesn't want to sell his place while he is alive, couldn't he fix it up for someone to buy it after his death? If he wouldn't want too much, it would be worth buying, wouldn't it?
By the by, I had to eat four cookies in the morning ration on account of the fact that we had creamed beef on toast this morning and since I can't go that stuff, I forego breakfast. To make up for my seemingly wantonness in raiding the rations, I did not partake of any this evening. Just think of the feat I've performed? Made the precious and priceless fruit cake cookies last an entire week and if I continue to exert my will power, I will be able to enjoy them for several more days. I believe that the continuous daily enjoyment of the cookies is greater than to gorge oneself on them all at one time.
Hey, hey, my hopes have gone up. The midnight news broadcast now says the US note was delayed in reaching Japan by forty-eight hours thus accounting for the long delay. Maybe, just maybe, tomorrow morning we will all be happy again. Well, at least that is something pleasant to go to sleep on.
This letter seems to have been long in the writing but what has taken so long is the work being done in between sentences. I've been receiving more telephone calls this evening about work than I have received in a week of work days.
Tonight I was going to give my picture by picture reaction to the snaps I received from you during my sick in quarters period but I have not my writing box with me and the pix are in there. I don't know whether or not I'll be able to write much tomorrow evening, though, because if it is possible, some of us fellows are going downtown tomorrow to investigate some educational features being offered at the Philippine Institute.
Arnalfo was not down today. The Flips have to take four days off per month so if we have them work on Sunday, they must take off one day during the week and he chose today. Pedro Santo Domingo, the sharp boy with a gift for American slang, laughed at Arnalfo the other day when he (Arnalfo) stayed home from work because his wife had a cold. I said they must still think they are on their honeymoon and Santo Domingo commented that after a half a year of married life it is time he should be getting over the honeymoon.
I'm just about running out of conversation, misspelling words right and left, am getting tired, the time is getting late but might as well continue writing as long as Marsh is still working on his report. I know I used to get burned up when Mike Nyalka, or even Sackett would give me work to do late at night and then walk out leaving me alone to finish it. It is a lousy feeling and I feel it is only right for me to remain until he is finished with the job. I want to be tough, serious and unscrupulous because those individuals seem to get ahead in this world but I can't seem to make the grade. I can't do something without thinking how the next fellow is going to react, favorably or unfavorable. I guess at twenty-five my character is pretty well molded and it isn't going to change very much anymore no matter what I decide to act like.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman