05 July, 2011

05 July, 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 403 % Postmaster, N.Y.
France
5 July, 1944         1000

Dearest sweetheart –

I received a letter from you last evening written by you on the 19th of June and mailed on the 20th. Although that made it two weeks old, it sure seemed up to date to me, darling; and as I exclaimed, jokingly to the boys around me when I finished reading it: “She still loved me as recently as the 19th of June!” But it really was good to hear from you and to read that some of my mail was beginning to reach you, dear.

No – I haven’t heard from Stan I can say – literally – for months and I certainly am thoroughly disappointed in him. He never did let me know if he received the lighter – by the way. As for his having ‘found’ a girl – I don’t know. Stan gets strong likes and dislikes – and how long they last depends very often on how long the person is enchanted by his line. Anyway – with the man shortage in Washington – he must be having one heluva time for himself. Apparently he has no self-consciousness whatsoever about being in civilian clothes. Boy – it would do some of those boys a lot of good to get out here and live close to the ground for a little while; to perspire freely after digging a fox-hole and not be able to change their clothes; to find their shirt-collar getting black and grimy – and just go on wearing it; to go 3 or 4 nights in a row without removing their shoes and stockings; to just ache for a bath or shower and finally – regardless of the weather or the water – to bathe by repeatedly filling a helmet with cold water and sponging, sponging and sponging. It would do them a lot of good, I repeat, and might make them appreciate the simple convenience of life a bit more – let alone the luxuries of night clubs, dinner and dancing. I never before resented anyone’s being out of this thing, but you can’t help but build that feeling up in you after awhile. Perhaps it’s because up to France – I wasn’t really in the war, dear – just marking time – and believe me – the difference defies description.

Excuse me, darling, I didn’t mean to get off on that tangent. Incidentally when we take a bath as described above – we say we wash down as far as possible, we wash up as far as possible – but we don’t quite wash possible. Excuse that, too.


I liked the enclosed prayer, dear. Thanks for sending it and thank Mary, too. The thought is excellent! I forget so often these days that I am a physician. The fact is the amount of medical work I have to do is practically nihil – due to our setup, and there’s no doubt that if I ever want to do surgery in the future – I’ll have to have more training. But I’m not worrying too much about that now, sweetheart. What I want most of all is to return to you in good health and to find everything and everyone just the way I last saw it. I’ll worry about other things later. I feel certain that one way or another I’ll be able to provide for us in respectable style.

I’m glad you’re spending time with my folks, dear – and I hope you get a chance to do some swimming in Winthrop – this summer. By the way – how is your Mother feeling these days, dear? Your mention of bridge seems so distant. It seems like ages since I last played and I guess I’ll have to learn all over again – but that too doesn’t worry me very much darling. All I want is to make you my wife and the sooner I do, the better I’ll like it.

The enclosed Stars and Stripes is the first issue – as you can see – in France. There were very few put out – but I managed to get one. If you can, dear, save it – for sentimental reasons.

Well – that’s all for now, dearest. I’ll close now – but remember, sweetheart – I love you deeply and miss you more than I can say – Love to the folks – and

All my love for always
Greg


First "Continental" Edition of The Stars & Stripes Vol. 1 No. 1
Pages 1 (top and bottom) and 2 (top and bottom)

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