A Letter from A Farmer,
WE ARE AT CAMP PENDELTON
Dear Ma and Pa,
Am well. Hope you are too. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer this Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places in here are filled.
I was restless at first because we git to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m., but am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot and shine a few things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing! They make us shave but it’s not so bad; we git to use warm water.
Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food. But tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit between two city boys that live on coffee. Their food plus yours will just about hold you till noon, when you get fed again. It’s no wonder these city boys can’t walk much . . . they eat like birds.
We go on “route marches which the Platoon Sergeant says are long walks to harden us up. If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell him different. A “route march” is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city boys get sore feet and then we all git to ride back to our barracks in trucks. The countryside here in California is nice, but awful flat. The Sergeant is more like a school teacher. He nags some but it aint too bad. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and Colonels just ride around and frown. They don’t bother you none.
This next one will cause Walt and Elmer to die laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don’t know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk and it don’t move. And it ain’t shooting back 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 preloaded in little metal boxes that they call magazines.
Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join up before other fellers hear about this setup and come stampeding in.
Your loving daughter, Gail
P.S. Speaking of shooting, enclosed is $200 towards a new barn roof and ma’s teeth. These city boys shoot craps, but not very good.