October 6, 1918
Camp Funston, Kansas
Good morning my dear.
I am writing you a line or so while I am on the job. It's about 3 a.m. and all the poor old boys are resting very well. I am sure some nurse, believe me. Don't even get sleepy on the job. I have been working nights for about three days now, from 7 to 7 and fight the flies the whole day long while trying to sleep. I thought I was getting along on very little sleep when I was home, but this has the world cheated. There are 15 or so of the fellows to be put back to duty today, but they will fill the place up as soon as the beds are vacant.
Lots of them go to the base hospital every day and quite a number of them are "checking in" but there is bound to be as there are between 6 and 7,000 cases in the camp. I sure wish that they would all get well, for I am rearing to come home, believe me.
One of the boys played wise and got sick while he was home, his mother being ill. He is down with pneumonia, so will have a prolonged visit while home. Think I will try that when I come, eh! I guess they have this influenza dope in most every camp in the U.S., but I feel perfectly safe right here with it all the time. I feel fine and dandy and eat like a starved hog. I think I will forget all I ever knew about drill and all the other Army dope, for we have to run this just like we see fit, and as about 30 of the boys of our Company are in the hospital now, we are shorthanded for nurses. You better come up and take a job. We have 5 lady nurses, but only one works at night, so you can get on the same shift as I am.
Sure wish I was there to spend the Sunday with you. I expect, in fact I know, that we will work today the same as any other day, for there is no one else to do the work. I never did know that a sick fellow was so hard to wait on before. These birds almost chase you to death after water or pills or something else all the time. They all have high fever and kick the covers off as fast as one can cover them.When the fever gets too high, we must give them sponge baths to run down the temperature. Each of our men has about 20 patients, so you see we are pretty busy rookies. I guess that I didn't know any of those boys that died, which you wrote of.
Well sweetheart chick, I have spilled about all the gossip that I can think of with this dead for sleep head of mine. Goodnight, honey. Write me a big fat letter.
Always your man,
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1998-2002, Tom Johnston