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        Aug. 7, 43
Dear Ernest and Gretchen,
I am fine now and things aren't so bad. It is raining this evening. I am going to the movies to see Bob Hope, the movies is only about as far away as Graces. There isn't much else to do so I see most all the shows that come in down here. You kids want to help mother all you can so mind what you're told and be good and you will help her more than any thing else. The days aren't so hot down here anymore it only gets about 105 deg. anymore. We went on a hike today and shot the mortar, we're always busy in the army. I wouldn't know what I would do even if I was home. That's about all there is to say right now I guess.
       Your brother,
        Dean

      Sun. Aug. 8, 43
Dear Dad,
Mother said you had a birthday yesterday, keep on and you'll be an old man. If it's your birthday it must be August again, I guess fall will be here pretty soon. I haven't had an apple for so long I forget what they tasted like. It sure would be nice to be back there when the corn is cut and the leaves are off to go kicking through the woods on a sunny afternoon. The snow will fly before I'm home again. I just whailed John Irwin's pillow across the barracks at him. He is sitting over there talking to ____ _________. Nice way for a Squad leader to be acting. Sunday is our day off and we can do what we please, there are no officers around.
When we came in here our training cycle was thirteen weeks then something happened a couple weeks ago and it was extended four weeks and on Friday they added four more weeks. So we have five months of training instead of three. That pillow just arrived from the other side of the barracks doing about sixty per.
I got my driver's license the other day and it allows me to drive a jeep pass. Car and up to a ton and a half truck. I passed the mental on the air corps but haven't many hopes for passing the physical.
It's been over 100 deg. down here lately and we've been down on the rifle range. I guess I'm getting used to the heat. It sure would be nice to weed corn in that heat. They have been taking it easy on us lately on account of the heat and you can have a lot of fun with the boys. John & I are fooling around half of the time.
I said I was Squad leader, well that just happened. I'm at the head of 15 men. I don't give them orders, I just hand the orders down and see to it that they are obeyed. The barracks has to be swept & mopped every morning, I don't have to help with it but it is harder work keeping the other fellows on the ball so it will get done. It's quite a job but it gets sort of bothersome.
I don't need any money and never read magazines. Glad to hear mother got her Frigidare. Don't worry, if I need anything I'll let you know.
       As ever your son,
        Dean