[Written to Alice in Acton, Indiana. Return addressed: Richard, Ward 11, U.S.N.H., St. Albans, L.I., N.Y. Postmarked at Jamaica, N.Y., on 21 Feb 1946 at 1:30 P.M.]
Feb. 21, 1946
I’m afraid I missed writing yesterday but I have a long sad story to tell about it. It all started Tuesday afternoon. There was a presentation ceremony in the auditorium. They gave out various medals including the Purple Heart. An order was published that 10 men from each ward would attend as spectators. Turner and I were playing a game of anagrams when O.B. [Old Battle-Axe] came around. She stopped at the bed and asked “How about you, Turner and [Richard]?” We both said no so she went on and asked Jeri and a few other guys. Everybody said no. The next thing I know, a group of guys leave the ward and she is standing by the bed again. She told me that if I didn’t go, she would restrict me. It wouldn’t be just for the week-end but for 2 weeks. So – I told her that was all right with me, I would rather be restricted for 2 weeks that [sic] go down. I wasn’t going out anyway. About a half hour latter she tells me I am to report to Executive’s Mast at 10:15 yesterday morning. What for – because I REFUSED to go to the presentation ceremony. A little before 9 yesterday they called me down to the legal office to write me up. They had me charged with “Direct Disobedience to Orders.” I told them that there wasn’t any order as far as I knew for me to disobey. Well, they called O.B. up on the phone and she said there was an order. So she prepared a written statement. I tried to talk to her before she handed it in but she said I was disrespectful to her and she was going to teach me a lesson. Well, I went before the Executive officer at 10:30. I got to say a few words then he said it was too big for him to handle. I would have to go before the Captain. They made the notation on my slip and laid it aside and he talked some more. (Here’s where O.B. made her big mistake.) He reached over to get my slip but by mistake he picked up another one. He looked it over and saw is [sic] was the same but he couldn’t find O.B.’s signed statement. You see, O.B. had reported 2 of us on the ward for the same thing and the Exec. had picked up Steele’s slip. He heard Steele’s story and found that is was the same as mine. Then he decided that there must have been a mistake someplace since there were 2 of us with the same story. So he gave each of us 3 hours extra police duty and we were restricted until we worked it off. If I had been the only one, it might have been pretty bad; but O.B. made the mistake of reporting 2 of us. So, yesterday afternoon I worked it off. I had to deliver a memo to every ward in the hospital. It took me an hour and a half and I got credit for the full 3 hours. So it is all over and it has done O.B. more harm then it did me. She lost quite a few friends in the deal. She isn’t very popular in the ward this morning. Isn’t that strange?
I’ll write to-morrow but this is enough for now. I love you Sweetheart. I’m ready to be a civilian any minute now.
I love you with all my heart