July 5, 1918
Ft. Riley, Kansas
My Dear Lucille,
I will endeavor to scratch you a couple of lines this evening as I can't think of a thing in my power that I had rather do. I have a nice big washing to be done tonight, for in the morning (Saturday) is inspection and we sure must be looking Jake that day. I will be able to do that work tonight while I am supposed to be in bed. You see, they all must be present or accounted for at 10 bells or bed check. Then, if we are slick enough, we can slip away and take a bath or do all kinds of washing just so we don't run across any guards. We only have to go about 30 steps to get to our wash room.
We did not work very hard today. We had some drills with stretchers on which patients are carried, but that is a most frequent thing with me.
This afternoon, myself and three other boys have been cleaning up the pots and cook tools on our mess wagon which we take with us to feed our chow. We had to wash and scour it all up in fine shape. But as we were all pretty good kitchen machinists, we got it done in pretty good time. I feel fine and dandy over the 4th of July celebration. I didn't get stewed very badly this fourth. Seems like I must have swore off for keeps. ha ha
|Dad wrote on the back of this picture, "This was taken while they were cooking our "hash" one day that we were out for the day and night. The little cook sitting at the left of the range is in the guardhouse now for taking A.W.O.L. and getting married. He was gone nine days." Dad is to the immediate right of the cookstove fluepipe.|
We haven't had the good luck to take one of those long hikes for a few days though lots of mornings we go outside without a shirt on and double time (run) from our barracks to the athletic field about 3/4 of a mile and trot back before mess. That gives us some appetite. Every morning, we have 30 minutes exercise out of doors. And believe me, you exercise every muscle in the body. You should just try some of these stunts on yourself and you might not be so skinny as you call it. Wait till we move to that little home of ours dearie, then I will have you doing all kinds of these Army steps, and make you salute me 500 times each day. How will that suit? No dearie, I think by the time I have the privelege to come to you to stay, I will gladly drop all of the good old Army ways and drop back to real civilization again.
Well sweetheart, I can't think of anything I haven't already told you, so I had best stop the riff I guess and go on to the heavy (the wash). Sending all the love I can in 9 different languages.
Your very own boy,
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1998-2002, Tom Johnston