Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 75
c/p SF Cal
19 Aug 45
As time passes it seems that perhaps the peace is real in spite of the shallying of the Japanese and the "incidents." In the next three or four days the picture should begin to fill out considerably as the surrenders in China and in Russia become effective. If the continental armies of Japan actually give up their arms, treachery towards American forces of occupation becomes remote. There has been some question as to why the Nip government has requested and, in fact, told Gen MacArthur that they will discontinue broadcasts to him on the prescribed wave length but will broadcast on another band. I'm just waiting until we can get in there and put a stop to their arrogant manner. After the occupation what talk there might be by Japanese spokesmen can either be dealt with or will be insignificant. To me it seems as if the Japanese are going to try the stunt Germany pulled in World War I in surrendering with the armies intact. The Japs can always say that they were not beaten on land and gave up merely to put an end to the merciless slaughter. In spite of their known hypocrisy, there are those who will be duped by this psychological maneuver.
The news came out today about accepting fellows for the Regular Army. It is not only causing quite a lot of ribbing but also serious conversation. As far as we know from the news item the conditions are that no matter where a soldier is, he can ask and receive a discharge from the Army of the United States (AUS, or drafted army) and re-enlist in the United States Army (USA, or the regular army). He will then, whether overseas or in the states, receive a ninety day furlough home, a bonus depending on his length of service and rank, and a permanent warrant in the rank held at time of discharge from the AUS.
The ordinary reaction is that any fellow who would apply for that post-war army job would first be sent to a psychiatrist and have his head examined. But under this present set-up, the army becomes definitely a "good" career as compared with the pre-war army. Cooley, for one, always had said he would stay in the army and today he called me up immediately to get the full low-down on this deal and he is all for it. Others throughout the battalion have inquired concerning it. The faster the government can enlist a voluntary army of occupational strength, the sooner it can step up the demobilization of draftees. But, I can see the good features of the idea even though the majority of fellows just toss the idea overboard at the very mention of it. If I was all alone in this world, I could actually remain in the army forever - overseas, not in the states. That is one way of never worrying about your job, or money or clothes or bills or anything. And you can request service in tropical bases or where ever the weather suits your fancy and usually get it. I'd ask for duty in such places as Panama Canal, Hawaii, the Caribbean bases, Guam etcetera from year to year. The reason I could get along in the army is because (although the army ways and the caste system irk me) I am easily contented and find myself enjoying my everyday life in spite of all. The majority of fellows constantly compare present enjoyments and standards by what they had in civilian life. Naturally the present then suffers in comparison and they become embittered. In fact, they become a bit peeved when I say things aren't so bad. And worse yet when I come up with my now famous statements that I actually liked Camp White, Oregon and Guadalcanal they just give me disgusted looks and say I can have both those places. While such a disposition as I have is not overly conducive to ambitions, I hope that I can continue to be contented with my everyday existence throughout my life. Most people strive to better themselves but in so doing lose sight of the fact that while they are bettering their position, they ought to enjoy what they have. The way to live, or at least the way I want to live, is to pretend that what you have today is what you will have tomorrow so that you can bring your life down to a level, well-organized routine. But at the same time plan for possible betterment so that should it come, the shifting of gears into a higher economy can be done easily and without confusion. On the other hand, worse conditions should also be anticipated and preparations made against that eventuality. The trouble with that kind of philosophy is that one is too willing to accept a modest appraisal of one's worth while an ambitious person believes himself worth more than whatever he is worth. The contentment I believe out weighs the discontentment which ambition sometimes brings.
Quite a lot of philosophy for one night. It reminds me of my letters at the beginning of my army life when they were liberally sprinkled with page upon page of philosophy. A Sunday, however, being a dull day at the most, does not provide enough other food for conversation.
For instance, there was no mail to answer once again. And I spent most of my day in relaxing and reading. Reading life magazines. The Daily News has not been coming in lately and I can't understand it because Fred Stern of H&S Company continues to get his copies. Once again I wish to make a note about what seems to be hopeless typing on my part. The machines are at fault to begin with - all except one - and added to that is my careless typing habit when writing for my personal interest. It still may seem strange that contrasted to the general sloppiness of my letter typing, my official work remains at a fairly high level. Not so high as when I was a company clerk, though, since the typing of a company clerk has to do with more basic records than my present work and must necessarily be perfect. So much for that subject.
I always wanted to find out what the cathedral in Noumea looked like but in all the time we were stationed in New Caledonia, I did not enter it. So, having long since made up my mind that I wanted to see the inside of a Filipino church before leaving the islands, I made a date with Hipp for this morning to go to the San Sebastion church (near Arnalfo's). With that in mind I woke up early, ate breakfast, showered and dressed up in my Sunday special - overseas bars, meritorious service award and all - and went to meet Hipp. I found him but recently arisen (0805) and then proceeded to wait for him until 0900. At that time I was still waiting in his tent and he had not shown up from the shower, shave, breakfast etcetera so I went back to my tent, undressed and slept until noon. It would have been too late at 0900 to get to the last mass at 1000. So I'll continue my heathen existence as heretofore although I was a bit disappointed in not going. It is a beautiful and large church from the outside and although it is downtown Manila in the Quipa district, it is visible from our monastery.
Although the hour is late, I find that there is enough conversation in me and a definite lack of sleepiness for me to continue this letter on into a third page with small talk about this, that and the other. Once again I looked thru my possessions to further pare them down to a minimum. These articles I found in excess of my needs today: 1 set of business correspondence books from a USAFI course I failed to complete,1 pocket book Hurricane which I told you I wanted to send home,1 chess set from the Millers, 1 cribbage set from the Bradley's and one electric shaver from the Aunties Florence and Clara. The latter, being inoperative as I believe I informed you while on Guadalcanal, was subject to my undivided attention today. When I finished my "repair job" and plugged in the current, it began smoking and getting hot. That was the finishing touch and I feel saddened by the fact that I received such small usage from it and it is such a swell little machine. And now at a time when I'll be having greater and greater need for it, I just won't be able to use it. And, Aunty Clara, I think that maybe next year this time I'll actually be a man and have grown-up enough to have a five o'clock shadow. I can't go such a long time anymore without whisking a few of them off because the peachfuzz of yesterday is becoming dark bristles and noticeable. But I'm not complaining because at twenty-five plus, I've nothing to complain of. When I get back home, I will undoubtedly have to shave at regular intervals because in office work at RH&R it will be imperative to be well groomed.
Also in my check up of unnecessary items I came across extra GI clothing which I would like to trade with someone who is short those items and excess in sox. I would also like to send home at some time either now or in the future, the ever growing files of letters, post cards and so forth. I've got five boxes and three large envelopes filled with such things.
Did I mention the fact that it appears that with the termination of hostilities, the TDR&R furloughs will undoubtedly be discontinued and that Sackett's Number One priority will not do him much good? Unless the orders come in prior to official V-J day, he will probably have to stick around until the fellows with 81 points (his total) begin going home.
I still have to comment on those pictures I received from you during the time my eye was unwell. Either I have them with me and it's late with me tired or I'm here with plenty of leisure and they are down in the tent. When the pictures and I get together I will give them an appropriate comment. My eyes are normal now but I gather you must know that by now by my lack of comment on them. A person has the tendency to remark about his unwellness but never about the good health; so after the unhealthy conditions are over, conversation ceases on that point.
Say, there are real swimming pools in the Manila area which are reserved for American troops exclusively! Maybe next Sunday, if I can rassle up a bathing suit (they say bathing suits are worn in civilized places) somewhere maybe I will be able to have the first decent swimming since the Dumbea River in New Caledonia.
Now I'm out of small talk so since I'm at the end of another page, I might as well sign off.