Wednesday, December 5, 2007

From an American soldier: a letter home

This week OOIDA is doing something neat. The Association’s membership gang has teamed up with Mark Reddig and the “Land Line Now” radio crew and is now conducting its first ever membership radio telethon. Ten percent of the membership fees will be matched by the Association and go toward care packages to be sent to U.S. troops stationed overseas. The response has been spectacular.

In the spirit of this radio telethon, I have to share a letter “from an American soldier” sent to me from an OOIDA member. It’s an e-mail that has no doubt circulated around the world many times. I’ve seen it posted on several military blogs and sometimes, it changes a bit or has a different signature.

I have no idea of its origin or authenticity, but it should still put a smile on some faces.

Dear Ma and Pa:

I am well. Hope you are. Tell brother Walt and brother Elmer that the Marine Corps beats working for “Old Man Minch” by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled. I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed til nearly 6 a.m., but am getting so I like to sleep late.

Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth up 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 so bad, there’s 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 by the city boys that just about live on coffee. Their food plus yours holds you til noon when you get fed again. It’s no wonder these city boys can’t walk much.

We go on “route” marches, which the platoon sergeant 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 out to our mailbox. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks. This country is nice, but awful flat.

The sergeant is like a schoolteacher. He nags some. The captain is like Old Man Minch. Majors and colonels 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 head and it don’t move. And it ain't shooting at you, like the Higgett boys do. 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.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain’t like fighting with that ole bull at home. I’m about the best they got in this except for Tug Jordan from over in Silver Creek. He joined up the same time as me. But I’m only 5’6” and 130 pounds and if you remember he’s 6’8” and weighs near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,