Paniqui, Tarlac, Luzon, P.I.
Saturday, 15 September 1945.
Dear Aunty Clara,
It is about eight o'clock in the evening and I'm knocking off the work for a while so I can write you with my senses still intact. After a few more hours of working, I'll become rather groggy and write a poorer letter than I will now... I'm sorry I have to keep complaining in these letters because griping never makes good reading. However, those are the conditions which are prevailing at the present time, and to report a true picture of my current life, I must tell you how I feel about things good or bad. Today I could see no end at all to this work. I became sick, disgusted, fed up and the only thing which kept me from chucking everything on the spot is that so many reports are due between now and Monday morning that I'll have to stick it out until then at least. I've gone so far as to type myself up a recommendation for reduction which I will try to talk Captain Hanton into signing and then tell Lt Kuras I want out and give him the reduction to sign. That is the only condition I could get out on and I have my doubts whether my request will be accepted. I have to go about it that way otherwise they will not think I mean it. It just isn't worth it, Aunty Clara. The Battalion can get along without my services in personnel and although my whole army life has been wrapped up in that section, I don't see how I can possibly go on working night and day and getting so little sleep on occasion... And, as I have said before, my letter writing to you was curtailed by the job and the time I am taking off now to write to you is only going to keep me up that much longer tonight.. Another thing, I signed up to go to Baguio this afternoon at four-thirty (I signed up yesterday or the day before) but this afternoon when they posted my name to be ready to go, I had to scratch it off the list. In fact, I haven't even gotten as far as Paniqui Square of more than a half a block down the road. Meanwhile everyone else is taking off on three day passes. Lewis, Ebner, Grauel, Molyneaux, Lynd, Bender, Garriss, Smarrito, all have either gone, are now on pass or are scheduled to go during this coming week. I can't blame the fellows for taking advantage of the pass situation but with the office as busy as it is every time one fellow loaves it means just that much more work added on to the fellows remaining. I don't know what I would do out on the line but whatever it would be, I doubt very much if it could be as long in hours and as filled with worries about inaccuracies as this one is. Of course, if I go through with this, I will be losing a lot of face with (1) Captain Hanton who thinks I can do a bang up job as Pers Sgt Mjr (2) Lt Lesher who thinks the same thing (3) Lt Kuras who is a good Joe and whom I would temporarily inconvenience by leaving him without an administrative non-com. Even if Jack took over, it would be a week before he himself would catch up on things just as I had to orientate myself two weeks back.
I'm afraid that I am becoming rather sarcastic with officers I disagree with but being in a cantankerous mood, I'm just not going to take things lying down. For instance, Lt Kuras suggested to Joe Blow that the clerks come down at seven-thirty instead of eight o'clock so they can get their morning reports out in time for Lynd to take them with the mail run. And then they should have from work a half an hour early in the morning at 1115 instead of 1145. Lt Suiter said that the Colonel would probably approve of having the clerks up at seven-thirty and it would be a good idea. Then he stopped and I spoke up that the Colonel would approve another half hour added on to their day but he wouldn't be able to see them getting off a half hour sooner. Now that the censorship is off I might as well tell you that as a general rule the enlisted men build up a terrific hatred f or some of their officers and I'm no exception. I have a very poor opinion of quite a number of the officers and just to look at them makes me sick and that is probably one of the worst things about this army and that is having officers that are not yet men. An officer who is a good Joe is rare. In our Battalion there are only two officers who I would ever like to see again after the war and maybe even have over to the house. They are Captain Stieler and Lt Ricci. They are the most liked officers in the battalion for the simple reason that they do not have an officer complex. Also in line with being sarcastic or at least very blunt with them, Captain Cook called me down on a letter I had retyped this afternoon and wanted to know why I hadn't included something else in it. That got me mad because those officers give you some work to do and say "Take care of it" then when it meets with their disapproval they ask you why you didn't do it their way. Why don't they write the 1etters up themselves instead of shoving it off on someone e1se? Moreover the sarcasm came in when I asked Captain Cook how I was supposed to write about something that is in someone elses mind.
Oh I've analyzed myself and figured out just what is causing my attitude and it boils down to these points. (1) the war is over and I'm thinking too much of the day of return home when I'll be out of this war (2) the war is over but they don't seem to be in too much of a hurry to discharge the men (3) the bubble of the importance of overseas service has burst and we have discovered we were just suckers for WD propaganda (4) the war is over and we are working harder than during the war itself (5) and the fact that I had contented myself to not having a rating because of the conditions, yet today three men were promoted to Staff Sergeant in the Battalion without having jobs calling for those ratings.
* * * * * * * * *
Your letter of ???? date arrived today. It is down in, the tent so again I can't answer it.
I need a haircut but bad and since Tom Hughes has been sent home for discharge on the over 38 deal, I've no barber to cut my hair. The flips charge one peso a haircut which I willingly gave Tom but I can't see giving that to them. Moreover I loaned out my dough to Lewis and Grauel who needed it to live in Manila on pass so I've only got 45¢ left.
But about the first part of this letter again. Maybe I'll never go through. with those plans since a person can not tell exactly what he will do in the future even if the future is but one hour away.
When we moved here from Guadalupe, I thought we would have to leave my coffin behind but at the 1ast minute we found there was room for it on the truck and now Garriss enjoys its use as I did... It is to my benefit to have it up here for Garriss because otherwise he would be using my desk which would only clutter it up.
I've got to give credit to Mark Muhonen of Company A. He promised Bender that in case any important work would come up during his absence, he would do it for him and he has been here all day long and is still hard at it. Being new at MRU rosters it is taking him longer than the rest but he is sticking right to it. We tried to get him to be the Company Clerk one time hut he was smart enough not to have any part of it but for one day he is willing to help out. He used to be a Battalion Sergeant Major but was broken for some reason or another and now is a Tec 5 in the Orderly Room.
Well, that is about enough for this evening, so