My Dear Alice:
Oh, glorious day! For two days now mail has been streaming in. The glory of going without mail two months is the recompense of getting a lot at once. As I started to answer your first letter, I got your second one! And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if before I’m finished here, I’ll have still another of your life inspiring letters.
Believe me when I say your letters are inspiring. A few lines on paper, meaning nothing to anyone except for the one to whom they are written. Believe me, Dear, when I say that your letters have the power to make my darkness turn to sunshine and my tired and weary being to take on new life. I guess it must be true that back of every man’s actions, there is a woman to urge him on. Life has had a fuller and happier meaning to me since you let me out of the dog house. I got a letter yesterday from a girl in Savoy, Texas. She proposed marriage. Do you think I should accept the offer? Ha. She also asked “how much insurance do you have?” Ah, such heartbreak, and just as such beautiful romance was starting. Ha. I have never seen her, heard of her, or even heard her name before; and probably will never again. I ought to have told her yes, just come out to camp. Ha.
Alice, you should not stay at home so much. You need diversion. Life is too short, or rather too long. There is enough loneliness at best, but after you have come to the point where you no longer can be one of those carefree and laughing youths, you will always wonder if you could not have been happier had you followed the gang. One can never really choose between two lives until they know both types. Be young, Alice, and have no thought of tomorrow, except where your soul is concerned. Above all, have no thought of me, except where our friendship is concerned. When we ever meet and start over again, I hope we can meet on frank and well understood ground. Let no uniform or war talk be the cause of our re-union.
Speaking of movies, it may sound strange, after telling you what sort of place we are in, but we had a good film here the other day. It was “Holiday Inn”, starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. This is the third one we have had in the last two months. They had planned to show one every week, but films, like mail, come when convenience allows. We see the shows free, naturally, and only part of the men can see them. There are four of us on this job, and we have arranged it so that we each only miss one show out of every four. You see, we never, for any occasion slack vigil. Regardless of the occasion, some of us are on duty. Well, that is the law of war.
I guess you have heard that my home is not in Sulphur Springs now? Sounds silly, but what I mean is that I have no relatives except Roielee and Linda and my dad living there now. Pat and Nancy moved to Ft. Worth. Neil is in the Army Air Force at Greenville and Mama has gone to Baytown, on the Gulf Coast. She distributed her household equipment and went to stay with my sister. I am just an orphan child. Ha. Ah, but it will be grand when I can reassemble the scattered family after the war. If Neil gets married, as I fear he will, that will only leave me and Mama out of a once big and happy family. Well, I guess it won’t hurt to dream of a brighter future, will it? The present is pretty enough to dwell on. The only certain thing we know now is God. Life is like trembling quicksand. You may be spared permanently or have your life taken in a period of minutes. so why plan for the future too much, or spend any time worrying about the hills we have to climb before we reach them.
Alice, I have quit hoping for a furlough. They are still giving them, but they are doing it so slowly that even if they are not stopped completely (a little later on), I still would not be up for furlough for nearly another year.
I have some more pictures being made. If they turn out O.K., you can have ‘em. By the way, about sending pictures that you wish to retain. As much as I would enjoy it, and as hard as I would try to get them back to you, I would not advise it. Mail can be lost too easily. Even if it were not lost it damaged, it may be a long time before you got them back. But thanks a million for the offer. I’m sure you understand why I advise you not to send them.
Yes, Alice, I’ve been writing every week, but I’m sure you get my letters as I get yours - all at once. I must close now.