Paniqui, Tarlac, Luzon, P.I.
Monday, 17th September 1945.
Dear Aunty Clara,
Gosh, this army gets worse by the day now that the war is over and I actually hate it so much that I'm beginning to lose my sense of humor and go around with a grouchy look on my face. Just when I had accepted the fact that I'd have a long and rugged road ahead with my job, what happens, our dear darling colonel decided that the office workers will go out for all parades and practices for same. Where in the hell are his brain8? His entire office staff is overworked as it is, coming up nights trying to get the lousy work out and now he comes along with an order to have them close up the office for more than an hour two days of the week and then for four hours on Parade day. Lt Kuras talked to him and he remained adamant on the subject that we should go out. I can't understand the screwball way his simple mind works thinking you can keep treating men that way. Saturday afternoon the entire battalion was off but the office force had to work not only in the afternoon but into the night. Wednesday afternoon the battalion gets off but the office workers have to remain on duty. If the battalion goes out on a parade during the day, they don't have to come back at night to make up on hours they missed at work. Just because the office closes up doesn't necessarily mean that the work stops coming in. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.
Sure, when the letters were censored you couldn't tell how the morale of the men went down when their officers kept pulling such simple minded stunts which go against the very grain of an individual. And Colonel Shubat is a good one for pulling boners like tint. In fact one Saturday back on the Canal he restricted the entire battalion and conducted three separate inspections all day long in which he made everyone change the set up of their equipment everytime, mop the floors after each inspection and police up around the barracks. What was said about him that day would never be fit for print. In fact Colonel Trower called him up that night when he heard about what Shubat pulled and berated him for pulling down the morale of the men after there had been a program for bettering the attitude of the enlisted men.
Another reason why I have a personal grudge against George J. and that is today I found out the real truth about the promotion. Just as I suspected, he disapproved of it after Lts Kuras and Suiter both tried to get it for me. That is the same kind of stunt that was pulled with that furlough deal. That was approved and then disapproved which made it that much harder to take. Now I didn't think of a rating until they told me that they would try to get it and then he puts the quash on that. Maybe it is not really the individual that I get so mad at but the idea that another person can have so much control over your personal life. That just gets in my mind and would drive me crazy if I was the type that goes crazy (which unfortunately I don't seem to be).
I tell you what, starting tomorrow I'll try a no gripe campaign and see if I can't make my letters a little more happy. Right now though I'm just like being in a prison. I know I'm going to be a civilian on March 19th, 1946 which is a half a year and two days away from today. And everyone of those days I still have to remain in the army are going to be days I wished I'd never have lived.
Last night also the Colonel clamped an eleven o'clock restriction on the battalion with bed-check. You have to be there. And he also ordered the mess halls to quit serving coffee and bread after ten-forty-five in the evening.
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Okay I'm finished with that
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I came up to finish some work this evening but have been forced to quit it as the rain has been coming down in about the heaviest torrents I've seen here on Luzon. And because me desk is right at the window, the rain is just streaming in there and I had to get up and move to a more protected part of the office and I found myself in a secluded corner of the Supply Section where the rain hasn't reached and which has this typewriter placed very conveniently upon the desk.
We played a little catch this evening and I was surprised at the amount of control I had and my ability to catch the bard ones. The other night I made a little fling at it but didn't do so good, but this evening I was right in the groove just like the old days when Jack and I, I mean Uncle Jack and I, used to play catch out in the alley.
Speaking of playing catch I can now clear up the mystery of my reference to the glove which Aunt-Aunt sent to me or so I had said. She never really did send me a glove but I had been given a special service glove (fielder's) when I was in New Caledonia and carried it up to the Canal with me. I thought maybe I would send it home by saying it was sent to me and that I was sending it back and I was just conditioning the censor for it. However, as it turned out, I gave it to one of the fellows that did a lot of baseball playing on the Canal and he put it to more good use than I ever could have done.
We are all wondering if there is going to be a Japanese Institute in Nagoya or Osaka, where ever we might wind up. That is on the order of the Philippine Institute. Probably not. But they might have one in Tokyo. That Is one of the reasons why we became so lackadaisical about the school - we couldn't say anything - but seeing as how we were scheduled to move momentarily we almost didn't go down and register.
Some of the boys sure have let themselves go recently and it is pitiful the condition they let themselves get into. Marsh went out on a bender and got into a fight. You should have seen him this morning --- a black eye, a bulge on the side of his head the size of a baseball, lacerations on the back of his neck, a horrible blue and black bruise in the back of his ear and a puffed up jaw. Somebody said he ran into a door and Hipp and I cracked that it must have been a revolving one.
It is disgusting to see what those fellows turn into when they have had to many. Dolores was right when after the first Christmas Party at RH&R she said that drinking brought out the true colors of an individual. Why do those fellows (not all of them) have to get so belligerent? I wouldn't doubt that low morale gets those guys started. On Guadalcanal that problem never existed but with a civilian population and civilian wares aplenty a lot of problems exist which didn't on the rocks in the South Pacific.
This part of Luzon has quite a few railroads. The trains are smaller than ours and the gauge is very narrow compared to the broad tracked American lines. However, their whistle and wail is so very familiar that a lot of guys get homesick just listening to it. The roads around these parts are both good and bad. Some stretches the concrete highway run on and on for miles and then they will suddenly break off into asphalt and worse yet into bumpy gravel roads. But they are far better than the temporary roads on the Canal.
The baseball news today was okay with the Cubs winning a twin bill and the Cards splitting theirs. That is another game to the good and they will sure need them the next time they tackle with the Cardinals. Andy Mathis already has run off stencils with screaming headlines "Cubs, Tigers cop pennants" then in smaller words underneath that "Series begins Oct 3". That is confidence in the borne team and I hope he is justified.
Well, I think the wind has abated and the rain let up somewhat so that I can return to my desk and spread the work out again without too much danger of the water getting all over everything.
We had another ration of 3 packs of cigarettes, one pack of pipe tobacco, 3 bars of candy and a package of chewing gum. As always I've given away the tobacco and eaten the candy bars but I went ahead and lost the pack of gum. Army rations usually don't mean much to a guy who doesn't smoke because it consists mainly of smokes.