West Virginian Recruit's First Letter Home
Dear Ma and Pa:
Am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Army beats working for Old Man Minch a mile. Tell them to join up quick before maybe all the places are filled.
I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 AM, 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 bad, they git warm water.
Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, beef, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and regular food. But tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit between 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 Sgt. says, are long walks 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 all get sore feet and we ride back
The country is nice, but awful flat. The Sgt. is like a schoolteacher. He nags some. The Capt. is like the school board. Colonels and Generals 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 bull's-eye is near as big as a chipmunk 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. Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellows get onto this setup and come stampeding in.
Your loving daughter,
P.S. Speaking of shooting, enclosed is $200 for barn roof and Ma's teeth.
The city boys shoot craps, but not very good.
KEN -- PASS THIS ON TO JIM AND TIM PLEASE. THEY MAY WANT TO ENLIST! JOE