June 13, 1918
Ft. Riley, Kansas
My Dearest Lucille,
As I have my own say this afternoon, am going to converse with the sweetest little girl in this whole big world, and the only one that concerns me in the least. This is a pretty warm day, though we have a breeze. Hot one. We trained this morning and this afternoon, we got our third and last shot in the arm. I feel fine and dandy and never had less in all my life. I am getting down pat on this drilling stunt and don't mind it a bit any more.
|The population of Fort Riley grew phenomenally in a short period of time.|
They have started splitting this camp up now, so I don't suppose I will be here very long. There were about 85 just left a few minutes ago. I have just finished a big washing and you had ought to see my lily white hands. Say, I do hate to get into that habit too, for you may think that I can do the washings best in the future.
Last night we were marched over to the fighting ring and saw some very good fights. Also heard some fine singing and music from every kind of a musical instrument that was ever made. I got in a few minutes after 10 and I almost got in bad over it. I came marching in and had to march back out and take my shoes off and come in barefooted so as not to disturb the boys who were supposed to be asleep. But it almost tickled them all to death.
We have to be in bed with the lights out at 10 oclock and can't talk even in a whisper. Sometimes somebody forgets themself and then the whole bunch has about nine fits all at one time. We have a pretty jolly time always. Even if some of them are trying to kick the bucket. ha ha. I hear that we will be given a ten mile hike tomorrow. That will just suit me, for I sure am some stepper. When I come back to you it will be useless for you to want us to buy a car, for I know I can teach you the art of walking. Gone to supper, so long.
Hello, honey. I am full as a tick. I and Jim Martin and Barney ran away from the mess and went about a mile and a half from home to a real restaurant. I saw more soldiers while I was over there than I thought was in the whole U.S. Army. They have Cavalry Camps, Infantry Camps, Veterinary Camps and every other kind that one could think of. I saw Harv Strate this afternoon. He said he was going to come home in a couple of weeks if he had to run away. Believe me, I would sure hate to try that for you are liable to get stood in front of a firing squad for deserting. I think he possibly will change his mind about it.
They have some great gambling games here every evening. Anywhere from $50 to $1500 in the game. Some of the slickest gamblers in the world are here and they have plenty of money. A square guy has no business in those games. I never could win for losing, so I just lay off.
Some of the boys have their pictures made every day, but I don't care for people to look at me and imagine a soldier looks like that. ha ha Some proud chicken I "ain't." At that, they are the only thing for drilling for in order to be quick down and up. We have to roll on the ground a hundred times a day. We are lined up every morning after mess for our one hour exercises. We all take our spaces at two paces apart, say, fifty abreast and fifty deep. Then our commander stands in front of us and gives us leg exercises, arm, neck, and every other joint that you can move (some very inconvenient) but we keep it up for one hour. Then we proceed to "all" march to the drill grounds and drill our darndest until the bugle calls us at 11 a.m. Then we march back, wash up and eat our beans, and back to work at one and take on some more drill. Just as easy as taking candy from a baby.
Now, my dear little sweet chicken, I must save a little to tell next time. Accept all the love in the world from one who loves you always.
Your very own,
Back to Index.
1998-2002, Tom Johnston