LETTER FROM A FARM KID NOW AT THE MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT IN SAND
DIEGO.

Dear Ma and Pa:

I am well hope you are.

Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old
man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before maybe all of
the places are filled. I was restless at first because you got to stay in
bed till nearly 6 a.m., but am getting so I like to sleep late.

Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot and
shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to
split, fire to lay. Practically nothing. Men got to shave but it is not so bad,
there's warm water. Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice,
cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak,
fried eggplant, pie and other regular food. But tell Walt and Elmer
you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food
plus yours holds you till noon when you get fed again.

It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much. We go on "route" marches,
which the Platoon Sergeant says are long walk to harden us. If he thinks
so, it is not my place to tell him different. A "route march" is about as
far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all
ride back in trucks. The country is nice, but awful flat. The Sergeant is
like a schoolteacher. He nags some. The Capt. is like the school board.

Majors and Colonels just ride around and frown. They don't bother you none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for
shooting. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk
head and don't move. And it ain't shooting at you, like the Higgett boys at
home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it.

You don't even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes. Then we have
what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city
boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain't
like fighting with that ole bull at home. I'm about the best they got in
this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake. He joined up the
same time as me. But I'm only 5'6" and 130 pounds and he's 6'8" and weighs
near 300 pounds dry. Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join
before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,
Gail