A Letter from Basic Training
Oct 13, 2018
|Marilyn was under the weather today and I stayed with her all day. As a result of this lack of activity there isn’t much to write about.
Nearly two weeks ago I visited my cousin, her husband, and my Uncle Bill. My cousin showed me a letter I had written to my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins. She found it in some of my Uncles memorabilia. I will share it with you dear readers in the hope that it might bring back some memories for those of you who served in our military. I wrote this letter only one week after leaving home. It is postmarked August 26, 1957.
“Dear Betty, Bill, Ronnie, and Jana,
How are things in Kahoka? Everything is fine and hot in Texas. Tell Uncle Bill that he can be thankful that he is not a Texas Mailman because after marching around for an hour and a half in this weather you are exhausted. I have only seen two clouds since I have been here and they weren’t very big.
I am going to church tonight. We have church on Sundays and Wednesdays. We got our first liberty tonight. We have one hour to go to the PX and that is our liberty. I have learned to spit shine shoes and how to fix a footlocker for inspection. You have to scrub the bottom of your shoes until they look like new and then you are supposed to shine them until you can see the cracks of your teeth while you are standing up.
This next sentence is for Ronnie. “For God’s sake don’t join any of the services, It’s lousy.” I don’t mind it so much but when we are standing at attention or parade rest for about 35 minutes in this hot sun I wish I was anyplace but here. When we got here we had a good T.I. but they moved him to the next barracks and I don’t think much of the new one.
In the Air Force you don’t smoke, you don’t drink, you don’t swear, you don’t speak unless you are spoken to, and you have a vocabulary of only three words, Sir, Yes, No.
The food is good but the sleep isn’t. You get up at 0500 on week days but you sleep a long time on Sunday. Clear until 0600. You can’t get out of bed before 0500 or 0600 and you can’t go to bed before 2045 and you have to be in bed at 2100.
I also learned to make a white collar bed and how to roll my clothes. Tell Ronnie to print me a letter or send me a newspaper clipping of the baseball standings. I would like to know where the teams stand and we aren’t allowed to read a paper.
Well (That’s a deep subject) Bye for now.
Your loving Nephew,