05 Oct Homesick, May 11 & 13, 1945
Now that the war is over, Dad’s spirits are plunging. He’s heard news that there may be a points system announced for who will get released to come home and doesn’t think he has nearly enough points. He’s fantasizing about the kind of life he will have with Mary and Karen when he gets back, including walking down the block to get an ice cream every evening!
11 May 1945 V-Mail
Good evening, darling. I’m a very low character for no good reason tonight. I’m combined CQ (Charge of Quarters) and Sgt of the Guard (in my new capacity as Sgt I no longer pull guard standing a post, but instead am in charge of the guys standing the posts). After lowering the flag and posting the guards, I stood around at the gate and watched the kids in their play suits (it is now full fledged summer weather, and the kids are barefooted and practically naked — same as in the States) and looked out over the hills of woods and listened to the calm summer evening noises — and got homesick as hell. I just finished a ltr to the Lemonts, and as I think about it now, I wish I hadn’t sent it as it must be pretty morbid. We heard a radio broadcast the other night defining the point system for discharging, and in case you haven’t paid any attention to it in the states, the guys with 85 points can expect to be taking off in a few weeks (this is strictly unofficial—only radio–as we have had nothing down from Army on it yet) and then maybe they will work their way down to guys with less points. I have 59 points, the way I figure it. 12 points for Karen. 24 points for 12 months overseas. 8 points for 8 months in the states. And 15 points for 3 bronze campaign stars (Battle of Normandy, Battle of Northern France and Battle of Germany)—the only 3 campaigns in the ETO) Total of 59 points. Cripes, how I wish I could beg, steal or borrow another 26 points somewhere!!! We are going on the same as we have for the past month—just working—and waiting—and hoping—
Received your Apr 23 and 24 and 29 letters yesterday, but still not the one from Chi, but gather that you were struck down by a kidney virus of some kind. Wish I knew what the hell it was all about, but suppose you are back at work now, and I hope feeling fine. Must have been pretty lousy being cooped up all the time, though. Hope it wasn’t too bad and is now finis. Pore li’l kid. All my love to you, my darling
13 May 1945 V-Mail
Good evening, sweetie. This has been a very pleasant Sunday. Another new thing has gone thru now, in which we now have Sundays off ( except for the work which has to be done—including Msg Cen, NATurally). I’m not sure what the status of our mornings off is going to be now, but all day Sun is better anyway. Got up about eight this morning and worked until noon cleaning stuff up in here, but this afternoon had a very swell time. Began by Col. Bettman and I beating my pals Spalding and Trombly a couple of games of badminton and then a couple of ping pong. Then found a small piece of ice and made us a gallon of ice cream!!! Actually! Of course, it was more like a very thick malted because of lack of ice, but man it tasted good. That is going to be a MUST on most of our menus WHEN I get home darling. And probably a quart or so every night. Is there a nice drug store near by, so we can walk up in the evening and get the papers and ice cream? Golly, but I’ll like that! Then Spal and Trom and I went for a long walk up in the hills and woods. A couple of German women stopped us and wanted justice done. It seems that some Russians had held them up and stolen one of the women’s wrist watch. We just said Yeah Yeah and walked on. Anybody who gets mixed up in any of those messes is crazy. Had a beautiful view of this town and the valley from up on the hill. Saw where the Jerries had had billets (?), and it was really nice. Arrived back just in time for supper. Then had some horseshoes and volleyball and several beers and the boys are now seeing a stinker of Benny Goodman in “Low Down and Blue” or some such, which I saw back in Aachen in January. Golly, it is really hot here now. Everyone is getting quite tanned. I wrote your folks a letter this afternoon. I must write to Bill and Ellen, too, as I owe them a couple, but dammit, I simply have to drive myself to sit down and write anymore. Weather like this makes me just want to sit around and think about you and Karen. Guess I’ll go up and hit the sack. Maybe I’ll have a nice long dream about you. I love you like anything, baby