[Written to Alice in Frankfort, Indiana. Return addressed: Richard, Co. G, 2nd Bn., 1st Mar., c/o F.P.O., San Francisco, Calif. Postmarked at U.S. Navy, on 1 Jan 1945, A.M. Envelope stamped on front, "Passed by Naval Censor," and initialed by the Censor.]
Dec. 29, 1944
I’m in a peculiar mood tonight. I can’t figure it out – either the mood or the way I got in such a mood. I don’t have the slightest idea about either.
We received a ration of 5 bottles of beer today and I’ve been watching how it effected the different guys around here. One fellow drinks occassionally and when he does, he gets drunk. I guess he decided that this was the night for him. At first, everybody was having a lot of fun. He was either drunk or putting on a good act. But he wouldn’t stop. He kept up the act till everybody was disgusted with him. Then he started getting tough. Part of the time he would be just as sober as I am. Then, it seems, when a few guys got around him, he would get extremely drunk all of a sudden. I guess he thought he was impressing somebody. He’s still drinking. In fact, he just fell on the deck here in front of the tent. It’s dark and I couldn’t see very well, but he seemed like he was drunk, now. He had another fellow to walk him around. I don’t think he knows what he’s doing now. He acts like he’s out on his feet. In a way, I feel sorry for him. If he is so “weak” that he has to get in that condition, he has my sympathy. However, I don’t think he is that weak and he is very disgusting. I don’t feel sorry for him at all. I’m afraid if I were the one to take care of him he would just stay where he falls. I would not feel like messing with him. I know all these guys will be in good shape for the inspection tomorrow. There is another guy that doesn’t drink or at least he hasn’t since I’ve been here. He drank tonight. It seems rather funny to see him staggering around here. I can’t figure out why he started tonight but I guess he’s having fun, at the present anyhow. Another fellow wrote his girl and made love to her throughout his whole letter. He wrote in such a way to build up to a question at the end. I know the girl will be very excited & thrilled when she reads it. He’s the kind of guy that the girls “go for.” Then at the end, he asked a complete disconnected and foolish question. He read me the letter and got the biggest laff out of it. I hope the girl does too but I have my doubts. I don’t think he would normally do anything like that but there is such a thing as “beer.” Now, he is singing and throwing nut shells at me. He seems to get a big kick of it. If he just would sing as he can, instead of so loud and slushy. He can sing pretty good without the beer. One group of fellows are singing everything they can think of as loud as they can sing. Another group are singing slow, sweet songs as they should be sung. One of the guys has a harmonica. When I can hear it, it sounds pretty nice. Another group are having a quiet little party – with food and beer. They all think they are having fun. I hope they are. In the long run, I know they won’t be happy about the beer.
Well, Sweetheart, about 2 hours have passed since I wrote the last sentence. I’ve been talking to “Pop” F——. He’s one of my tent-mates. I don’t know how old he is, but he got quite a few years on me. He was studying for the Ministry before he got in the Corps and we’ve had quite a nice talk. We started talking about some of the things that are going on around here and somehow we got around to an altogether different subject. I suppose you can guess what it was. You know, regardless of what a bull session or a conversation starts out with, it usually ends up with the subject of women. This conversation ran true to form. Except – - – he was talking about his wife and I was talking about you, my wife. I love you, Swetheart. I enjoyed our little talk just telling him how wonderful you are. I can’t remember much he said. I was too busy thinking about you. Telling him about what fun we had in Diego and Oceanside and Purdue. Darn it, it so much easier to talk than it is to write. Why can’t you be with me (or me with you). It would be so much easier and nicer.
There go taps, Sweetheart.
I love you with all my heart
I was going to get up a little early this morning and finish this letter. Fraid I didn’t wake up. So, I’ll just have to stop it here. I’ve work to do. I must get ready for inspection etc.
I love you with all my heart