Paniqui, Tarlac, Luzon, P.I.
Friday, 21st September 1945.
Dear Aunty Clara,
I don't know, but it seems that I accomplished exactly nothing today. My work is piled up in my desk and although I came down to work on it this evening, I again accomplished very little. For one thing, I was busy this morning getting out a report on a breakdown of the ASR scores (Adjusted Service Rating Scores) and I personally had to check through the rosters of the battalion as of the 31st of August and then work on up from there to today's date to make it an accurate report. Because of the length of time it took, Lt Kuras and I agreed that we ought to have a handy index or reference to the "point groups" in the battalion; so this evening I typed up a notice to the clerks to prepare a sheet for every point and list the name, rank and year of birth of the men on it who have that many points. If we keep it up to date, it will be a simple matter to obtain any data we need.
One thing that I'm unique in as a Sgt Mjr and that is my typing up Instructions to the clerks. Whereas others give their orders verbally, anything which is going to take time and is detailed, I sit down and type up six copies of and distribute. They all start off "TO ALL CLERKS" and then I go ahead and tell them what is required. Marsh got a kick out of It at first but he still said he thought it was a good idea because it couldn't be forgotten and was a handy reference. I guess that is a carry over from my Morning Report Clerk days when I would type out model remarks and hand them to the clerks for their information (and compliance).
I didn't tell you this the other week but the Company Commander from Company A was out riding to Tarlac and back one Saturday night with his 1st Sgt and they had an accident with their jeep smashing head on into a 2-½ ton truck. The 1st Sgt escaped with minor lacerations and bruises while the Company Commander suffered a brain concussion, fractures of the foot and arm. He died the next day and two days later the funeral was held. That is how come "the Sanitation Officer" Lt Lesher is now Company Commander of one of the line companies. No it wasn't Hanton or London that was killed but some other officer from one of the other outfits that made up the 1393d.
Well, earlier this week we had the beginnings of another tragic event as a man in our company fell from the balcony at the theater. He paralyzed himself from neck down and was in pretty bad shape. This morning he died and the funeral is tomorrow with H&S Company attending en masse. It seems that now that the war is over, when things should be safe, we have been running into unfortunate circumstances.
Of course, everyone feels sad about a death which occurs now after the war is over and people just don't think about losing their lives anymore, but really it is no different. Death is death and no matter when it occurs it isn't something of joy but rather of sorrow.
Yet, Aunty Clara, that just shows to go you what can happen, so once again I want to tell you that if I should die before reaching home, no matter how we may talk about the good days to come or anticipate and plan for the future, I, as one dead, will not only he free from worrying about "what I'd be missing", but also care less. In fact, you yourself know that being dead is actually better than living when you get down to a basic analysis; therefore, if you have to cry, don't cry too much or be sad for too long. It will only be yourself you are hurting and if it were possible to make the dead happy, you can do it best by being happy yourself.
It takes a death close to you to bring back to your conscious being that life is so tentative after all and that one should he ready to depart from It on moments notice --- without regrets. It will be quite an experience to find ourselves someday going into that Big Sleep, eh?
Going out to the funeral tomorrow will kill the day as far as working goes so that means more night work and then Sunday time too. However, as long as it is not that rush-rush work, it isn't so bad. I had planned on going to Baguio but that is a thing of the past now.
What do you think of General Marshall's statement that the point score will be lowered to 70 on the 1st of October and then down to 60 by the 1st of November. Now if they act on those scores instead of just making the fellows eligible and keeping them in the service anyhow, everything ought to be hunky-dory. I still don't plan on being home before the middle of March although the War Department is doing their best to make another of my wishes come true.
They took Marsh off the company clerking this morning and left Frazin in full charge of H&S Company. You see, the telephone connections are so bad around here that all we can really use our swItchboard for is Intra-battalion communication and as a result we are setting up a radio to contact our higher headquarters and Marsh has been put in charge of it. We did that once before in the 353d when A and B Company went out to build fortifications (practice for the Marines) out on M'Bo Island quite a way off the island of New Caledonia and the signal corps loaned us a mobile radio unit which was parked out in the parade field across from camp and we were in constant communication with the two companies.
The chocolate bars are wanting to do their work this evening but the rain is falling cats and dogs and I have no inclination to go out into it for about a block or two trying to get to the "house".
Our laundry woman came back today with the clothes all done, which is quick work, and John Smarrito handled the paying of it. He paid five pesos for my laundry which amounted to six suits, eight socks, one hanky and one towel. She wanted six but he showed her that price list which, if used, would only allow her to charge a peso and a half for the same amount of clothes. She got pretty mad and said she couldn't do our clothes any more for those prices. But, for the love of Pete, $2.50 one week and $4.00 the other week is a lot of dough to be paying for laundry --- I needed that raise to keep my clothes washed. It hurts more so after so many years of free laundry by the GI units. We are out in the sticks now and there are no GI laundries available.
Say, the Cubs really gave the Cardinals an old psychological twister last night when they came from behind in the 9th inning to tie things up at 1-1 and then go ahead to pound across 3 runs in the tenth to take the game 4-1. That puts them three games out in front again and by all kinds of tradition in the grand old game that should have taken the wind out of the St Louis sails.
I received two letters today - or at least envelopes - from Blumenfeld with more of his propaganda literature CCCR and In Fact.