First of all, dear, a very Happy Birthday to you. Would that I could be with you now to look at you, hold you in my arms, kiss you and tell you I love you. We’re being cheated of so much, darling, it is maddening! I know you so well, I’m engaged to you, I love you so – and I haven’t helped you celebrate one of your birthdays yet – nor you – mine.
Missing a Holiday was always a tough thing, but missing you at a time when we should be celebrating – doesn’t seem fair at all. But this is Thanksgiving – and I’m thankful for all I do have. I guess that’s the best way to look at it, darling. We should be thankful that we have each other, no matter how far removed we are; thankful we are alive so that we can experience the poignancy of our emotion – which must of necessity be experienced at a distance. I’m thankful for you, Sweetheart, and for the fate that brought us together. And I’m thankful I’m in this war – alive and well.
This Thanksgiving will be a better one for us than was last year’s, despite the fact that we’re in enemy territory. Last Thanksgiving was the most miserable one I’ve ever experienced. I believe I told you we were on a train coming down from Scotland. We had K rations only; it was foggy, damp and cold. Everything was strange and lonesome – and believe me, dear, our morale was at a pretty low ebb. It’s not too bad today – considering everything. We’re having a Turkey dinner tonight at 1700; everyone who has any wine left at all is bringing it out and we’ll try to call it a celebration. The war is going on all about us here – as you probably know from the papers and the radio – but it’s funny how we’ve learned to forget about war when we want to, and project ourselves back to an old American custom. We’ve been reminiscing all day about last year – and the good old times before that. We’ll go right on doing that for the rest of the day – and tomorrow? Tomorrow will be just another day in the life of a soldier. We’ll be real again.
The weather here has continued to be abominable and it just doesn’t seem possible that it can be so constantly cloudy and wet. Right now outside my window – it’s coming down in buckets. I think we’re getting used to it though, for we rarely look up now to see if the clouds are breaking up or not.
There was a rumor that there was going to be some mail in tonight. I guess that will be about the best part of the Holiday for us – because we haven’t received mail for 4 days now and we miss it. The last mail I received contained no letter from you, dear. There was one from Charlie Wright – who is still at Fort Dix, New Jersey; and a letter from Mrs. Kerr – the elder – in Salem.
Before I close, Sweetheart, let me wish you the happiest of years, good health and good waiting. Do not forget for one single second, darling, that you have a fiancé who loves you as he has never loved anyone, who loves you and thinks of you constantly. I always shall, dear, and my greatest enjoyment in life will be to show you that love and make you love me even more than you do now. Love to the folks, dearest, so long for a while and