Paniqui, Tarlac, Luzon, P.I.
Monday, 24 September 1945.
Dear Aunty Clara,
I believe that beginning today I'll write but won't send out the letter until the next day. Mainly because I'm broke and only have one or two air mails left and do not want to begin the V-mail system all over again. Come payday I'll buy enough envelopes to last thru the month for every day. Another reason I'm not thinking so bad about holding them is because they claim that during the next few months the soldier's mail to home will probably not go by air but merely by fast ships so there will be a lot of letters from me to you arriving at the same time so that it won't matter much whether or not they arrive in the same envelopes or different envelopes on the same day.
Today has been and still is a busy day. When everything is clicking fairly smoothly, I enjoy working and today was one of those days. I come down to work at seven-thirty after my breakfast and morning shower and then work straight through until eleven bells or after with time out only for meals, baseball practice, a shower and the nightly letter.
Today we had to spend most of the day getting out Service Records of hospitalized personnel. That is one of the time killers we have met up here (there is always something which adds nothing to the production of the department but takes up a lot of time). Under regulations governing combat zones (we are still - even after the war - classified as a combat zone) we have to drop any man who goes to the hospital and send out his records to the hospital even if the fellow has already returned to our organization. When fellows are going to the hospital day in and day out, you can see what a pile of work it entails. Moreover, it messes up the Morning Reports and makes them take easily three to four times as long in preparation just trying to straighten out the EDCMR's (Effective Date of Change of Morning Report) of these men going to and returning from the hospitals. Under the old system as employed on Guadalcanal we carried a man absent sick in the hospital on the morning report for sixty days before dropping him and there were very few fellows who were hospitalized that long so the only work there was to put one small entry on the morning report to record the event. Here it takes hours out of the day to consummate the transaction.
This evening I've let some other work go by the board until after I get finished with this letter, to straighten out the files of blank forms. They have been piled up this way and that in my foot locker and I decided that the time had come to do a little planning of my own and I have been putting them into manila folders and filing them just like orders and things. That way they are neat, orderly, easy to get at and although it is an unorthodox method of keeping blank forms I believe in the long run it will be the most practical and expedient method. I've decided that since Jack Molyneaux doesn't care to work in the Personnel Section I would take over his whole file system and blank forms and work it just the way I pleased and if he tries to interfere I can tell him where to head in. After filing all the papers yesterday I took his personnel stuff out of my desk and put it in with his Scraper material on the other side of the room and I don't think he liked it - but I'm determined now that I'm willing to dispense with any further assistance from his quarter even if he is willing to give it which I doubt he would.
After chow we played catch and even had a little pepper game batting the ball around within a small area so that we all had to be on our toes. It sure wore me down and I was dead tired before refreshing up with the shower.
O yes, I received five - no, four letters today from (1) Mrs Reed (2) Mrs Boyer and (3) & (4) from you dated the 3rd and 6th of September. Funny thing how Mrs Reed enjoyed the letter I sent to her yet I thought it was one of the worst I had ever written to her. I don't know but am beginning to suspect I think of everything conversely - when I think I'm doing good, other people think I'm doing lousy; when I think I'm doing lousy, other people praise me. Mrs Boyer had a dream about me being home and surrounded by Hawaiians so she had to write and tell me about it. She hopes we get home by Christmas but doubts it. She thinks I'll be home before Bob because he only has five months overseas compared to my 28.
I got a kick out of reading about the big reunion in the house with you, Uncle Jack, Uncle King, Uncle Joe, my Dad and Rosana. I could picture everyone in the dining room or rather first the kitchen all chewing the fat. It seems funny that Uncle Jack has been home for so long and this is the first time he has been around when Uncle King came in. Come to think of it when I get home, it will be the first time I will have seen Uncle Jack since he left for California too. Going off on a memory tangent, I can still remember how I pushed aside the kitchen window curtains looking out toward 22nd Street and watched the brand new Buick with Uncle Jack and the Stacks heading West with me thinking that maybe I'd never see Uncle Jack again. I also remember how they stayed at the house a day or so before they left and the way the fire in the dining room stove went out and Uncle Jack helped get it started.
There was a time when I thought the army was a good place but I don't think the recurrent strains on my blood vessels would be good for me if I were to remain in it in peacetime like everyone wants soldiers to. I've gotten so mad at the army in the last month that it will take a long time before the wounds heal. Yet, I can understand people staying in, especially now with the unemployment situation so precarious. Even at my present pay with 3 yrs service - serving overseas - I would pull down (after reenlistment) almost $135 a month which isn't hay and I know that whatever I get at RH&R won't equal it when the other expenses are introduced such as clothing, taxes, amusements etcetera. However, being a free man, even though poor will be priceless. This talk comes from the fact that Charley Matcha, as you saw, is undecided whether to return to civilian life or not. The monetary angle is not to be overlooked in a case like his where his chances in civilian life aren't half as good as mine. The very fact that the army could pay me $135 a month plus all expenses in peacetime, forces me to set my goal for civilian life at an absolute minimum of $200 a month to make up the difference and make myself of an equal worth. And knowing that I'm wishing for that salary within the near future and my shooting for it, I am confident of doing it. That confidence is unusual in me in that regard but this is a necessity. $200 a month will just begin getting for us the things we have dreamed of and more than that will be needed to really live in a worthwhile manner.