July 25, 43
Dear Mother and Family,
Well I'm classified and I'm in the good old Infantry, and how I love it, "Oh yeah." My particular Battalion is of the heavy weapons, that takes in the machine guns, 30 and 50 caliber and the mortar, the 41 and 81 millimeter. We have thirteen weeks training, two of which we have already had, then we will go across. They are giving everybody a chance to take the cadet test so I'm going to take it if I can. I spent weds. & thur. With a bunch of other fellows going to truck drivers school. We took about eight aptitude tests and drivers test thur. Afternoon. I don't know yet whether I passed the tests or what kind of driving I will do or whether I will drive at all. I think they are giving a bunch of us license Just so they will have drivers in case they need them. If I get the license it will allow me to drive anything from a jeep up to a two and a half-ton truck. The two and a half-ton truck in the army hauls two and a half tons only and no more. If you owned it your self you'd probably put five tons on it, that's about how big it is. It has a four-wheel drive and double trucks in the back.
I still have seven dollars and a half so if they pay us on the 30th I will be all right. I spend most of my money for drinks candy and movies. Six fifty off every month for my ten thousand dollar policy and one dollar for laundry. All clear I will get about fourty three dollars a month. You find what I owe you of the first of August and I will send you what ever you need every month or so. You will if you haven't already receive my policy from the gov.
I was given my third typhoid shot and was vaccinated. The typhoid shots make your arm like it was hit with a ball bat - that one Dad made. I don't know where the "t" sticker is unless it is in the dash pocket or in dad's drawer. I guess Ernest can have that buggy axle, I don't think I'll need it anymore. Tell Gretchen to clean up her plate because they make us eat every thing we put on our plates. One thing the grub is good and that is a good thing when it comes to keeping a bunch of men happy.
It is hot as the devil down here. It only goes up to 105 + 110 on a nice warm day. On Thursday seventy-eight passed out and four died from the heat. I took my driving test Thurs afternoon around 2:00 and the waves of heat just make it miserable.
Tell Fred that when he is working out in the hot sun and he is so tired he can hardly move you always do just a little bit more. Things wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't so darned hot. I was kind of home sick the second and third weeks but I believe I am over that. A fellow doesn't get much chance to listen to news, there are news boys all through the camp though. I had to put stamps on the letters until I got a permanent address. Those string cards have to have a stamp anyway and I figured they would go faster by air, I guess they don't. I'm not hungry for cookies yet and I have all the clothes I need.
Things are pretty tough at times other times they aren't so bad. As far as work goes I would just as soon be back home but I wouldn't complain if I could the training is good for a guy. It would be kind of nice to come home though. The veterans gave us all a little pouch and cards was among the articles.
With Love to all, Dean
P.S. Will probably write more later this week.