June 8, 1918
Ft. Riley, Kansas
Dearest Lucille Marie,
As I have a few minutes, I will start a little message of love to my own sweetheart. We have been pretty busy this morning, for we have had clothes inspection, cot inspection, and several other kind. My right arm is just a little sore for writing, but I guess you can make it out. I had my second shot in the arm yesterday, but it didn't hurt me very much.
I just got back from dinner and had a pretty good feed. Beef boil, spuds, gravy, macaroni, and bread pudding. We eat in a room about 100 feet long and 40 feet wide. There are three rows of tables and benches. There is a line of men who march in from each side with their mess kits ready, and the servers just rake you off a spoonful and you go to the next who gives you a spoonful of something else. If you don't have enough, just fall in line and come back through again.
|Courtesy Tom Caulley, we see a few of the cooks it took to keep Funston's 60-80 thousand men fed.|
Our mess kits are little flat plates of tin with a lid which fits tightly on and is used for a plate (also for oats or pudding). We get a knife, fork, and spoon, and it is the job of every one to keep his stuff scoured and shining. You have to keep clean shaved, your hair cut close, your clothes all kept nice and clean. I sleep under 2 wool blankets, and most every night have to lay my wool overcoat over me, too. Our cots fold up like a suitcase, and we have a large bag which we put everything into (except the cot.) You can imagine me looking for something that is in the very bottom of my bag.
|Again courtesy Tom Caulley, an unidentified soldier displays the General Issue mess kit.|
We are separated into Squads now, with 20 men to the squad. We haven't been drilling today at all for half the men are sick this afternoon. Tomorrow is Sunday, and I would sure just like to be there for that one day, anyway. We don't do much on Sunday. Are not allowed very far away yet, but they will surely let us run around a little, after while. You know I go to bed every night at 9:30 and hate like the deuce to get up at 5:30, though I expect I am getting fat.
Did they have a second registration there on the 5th of June, and do you know anybody that will have to go? I wish that no one else would have to go, for it really hurts the hearts for people that love as we loved to have to part. Well, I'm going to quit for now, or I can't write much next time. Answer soon.
Your very own sweetheart boy,
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