Wed. Feb 2, 1944
Dear darling wife,
Just received your letter of Jan 31, and let me tell you after reading it I donít think you will have to worry about me anymore. Honest, I am going to be a good boy and settle down to a big job, to follow this Navy to victory and home to my wonderful family. How does that sound to you? I was thinking about what I told you (200 & 400 to go), but I have gotten that out of my mind and feel if I am, Iím not going to worry about it now. I am going to study & look forward to seeing you at week-ends.
In the last two or three days, I have gotten myself two friends (they are in the same barracks with me). They are two swell fellows and we get along swell. We help each other in our school work. We go to chow together. We are in the same class. If I have something (candy, etc.), I share with them and vice versa. They are both married and I know feel the same way as I do about home. So we have a lot in common. Two of us have a child and one hasnít. We kid him and tell him heís no good. All in fun. Thatís why I say please donít worry about me anymore. Gee, weíre just like a bunch of kids. At night when it is time for bed we have the grandest time teasing each other. I sleep on the side of one & the otherís on top of the fellow aside of me. We pull each otherís blankets off, grab each otherís legs. (All this is before lights out.) I am happy about everything now. These fellows donít give you a chance to think of bad things. So I want to stress the point that I donít want you to worry, but be happy because I am. The only thing I also want you to know is that all my thoughts & memories are of you & Patty. Those memories & thoughts are so wonderful that they will never effect my mind. Now be happy again & be a good girl. Take care of Patty & yourself. Because when this is all over, we are going to start life all over again. The most wonderful life a couple could ever want to live.
(1) The first thing I am going to do whether you like it or not. You, Patty and I are going on a 2 months vacation. (Anywhere you want to go.)
(2) When our trip is over find myself a good dependable steady job.
(3) Buy you the grandest little bungalow, with all the comforts of paradise.
(4) Maybe if things are O.K., I would like a ďGary.Ē
The rest of our life will be fun & happiness with our family, also health. You know me well enough that if I promise you something you can always bet that youíll get it. So donít think I am saying this to make you happy. I am very serious about the whole thing. Do you remember way back when you & I first met and we were roller-skating together? We skated all afternoon and I didnít even know it. I told you all the things I would like to be and what I hoped to be. At that time you were saying, ďJust a line.Ē ďJust a line.Ē Tell the truth now, have I lied in any of the things I told you? Thatís why I want you to believe me when I told you what I intend doing when this is over. I am going to spend all my spare moments thinking of wonderful things I can do for you & my children. Please tell me how you feel about all this? I am not kidding, darling, but very serious. I love you.
We get a test at the end of each week. I hope I make a better grade this week. I want to bring that 81% up higher. Even if I donít get a rate, Ida darling. I will get it when I am shipped to whatever station they send me. The rates they give, 10% are just an honor gift for being the highest in class. They give you something to work for or it wouldnít be fun going to school. All of us will have a rate within a month or two after graduation. So I am not going to let that worry me. But I would want to get a rate so my children could be proud of me. I know you would be, too. So if I donít get a rate, donít be disappointed because after I am stationed somewhere you will be surprised to hear that I am a Petty Officer.
Sweetie Pie, if you like the ďSampson News,Ē I can send them to you every week. They are published once a week. O.K. I suppose you have read about different jobs that sounded good and now you want to know what I think is good now that I am in the Navy. Well, to tell you the truth, the really honest to goodness job is ďPostmaster.Ē Just think if I was taking that up, I could get a job home as Postmaster. You can really get somewhere with a job like that. You get to know everyone in town & if I ever wanted to run for any office in town people would know who I was. They get to know you & thatís what helps in things like that. Right. You can also work your way up to Postmaster General at a Post Office, etc. Oh, well, this storekeeping business is wonderful, too. If I am smart enough I could learn to run a business of my own or as I have said before, secure a good govít job. You see, I will put nice things like that in my mind along with other thoughts of you so I wonít get a chance to feel blue. I guess by now you know that I am going to be alright.
Do you remember reading in the ďSampson NewsĒ that anyone who wishes (that attends these training courses) could ask for or get a degree similar to a college degree or diploma for work & study in these different courses? It will be another one for my collection. Gosh, I must be dumb. With all those diplomas & certificates I got, I am just a sailor. Oh! well, I am young yet and raring to go.
By the way, your letter was nice & long. Thatís the way I like them. You are also ďon the ball.Ē Your mail is coming in fine. Keep it up.
The paper you used to finish the letter sure does bring back memories. You know I could live that life with you forever. Donít worry, darling, there will be many more of those nice short sweet 2 & 3 days like that. I have memories, but a lot more coming.
Now, I will try to answer some of your questions that are in your letter. The Italian priest is in Unit ďFĒ & I am in Unit ďH.Ē As I have told you before, I canít leave this unit. I did want to see him but they wouldnít let me. You want to know if I get any time after graduation. It all depends on how the situation is. The last class that graduated got 9 days delayed orders. When I say delayed orders, I mean they give them that much time to get to wherever they are sent. These fellows were sent to Calif. It takes 4 to 5 days to get there, so that would give them at least 4 days home. Levine graduated and they gave him 7 days delayed orders. He will have a grand time because it only takes about 1Ĺ days to get to Dearborn, Mich. Maybe by the time I graduate, things will be much better & probably get a couple of weeks delayed orders. Donít hope too much for it, though. You canít tell what they will do. Maybe things will be hot then and we will be shipped right out. So letís hope that everything is good by then. I guess that takes care of that.
Now I guess we know why Frankie didnít come home. Maybe they will send him home for a little rest after he is feeling good. I hope so. It will make my mother soÖ
The nail clipper is swell. I donít even have to file my nails. It does a good job. I also got your other package with the hankies & shears & cough medicine. The hankies will come in handy, so will the cough medicine and especially the shears. Thanks an awful lot.
I told you I got paid and I am saving it for me & you.
I have picked up an address book that they issue to students. I thought maybe you could use it. It donít hold many addresses, but it is handy.
Darling, if I write too much & I canít get it in one letter, I will make two out of it. If a letter has a one like this (1) [encircled number one], that means that is one letter of two. That is, it is continued in letter (2). O.K. Get it? If you get (2) before (1), wait until you get (1) before you read the letter. O.K.
Tell your mother not to worry about Lawrence because I have a feeling he wonít go. Thatís all he has to do is tell them he has a heart murmur. If they donít believe him, have them ask his doctors. I am afraid for him if he does get in because they sure knock hell out of you with drilling exercises and that isnít good for him. So take it from me, donít worry about him. Donít forget if they call him, tell him to tell them what he has. They donít see for themselves. I went through that line of examination. They only see if you walk straight & can say, yes sir, no sir. They donít bother to ask you, you have to tell them. Donít forget to tell him. Something Iíve never told you but I have seen many going to the hospital with heart trouble and have also heard of fellows dropping dead. One fellow here told me it was Christmas morning & a fellow went to wake another fellow up for guard duty. No soap. He was dead. Why, nobody knows. He may think heís young & strong, maybe foolish, but I wouldnít take a chance if I was him. I donít want to discourage him, Sweetheart. I just want your mother to be happy because it would sure hurt her an awful lot to lose Lawrence. My mother is just a little stronger than your mother when it comes to things like that. So letís hope we donít have to have any more heart breakening [sic] departures. I canít get him a birthday card because they donít sell any here, but will you wish him a happy birthday for me?
I have to stop because it is getting time to call you up.
I love you very much.
I love to scratch your back.
I love to hug & squeeze you.