from a Country Farm Kid at San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot:
Dear Ma and Pa:
I am well.
Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats
working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before
maybe all of the places are filled. I was restless at first because you
got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m., but am getting so I like to sleep
Your loving daughter,
Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot and
shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to
split, fire to lay. Men got to shave but it is not so bad, and there's
Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried
eggplant, pie, and other regular food. But tell Walt and Elmer you can
always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food plus
yours holds you till noon when you get fed again.
It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much. We go on "route
marches," which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden
us. If he thinks so, it's not my place to tell him different. A
"route march" is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then
the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks. The country
is nice but awful flat. The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is
like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown.
They don't bother you none.
This next one will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting
medals for shooting. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a
chipmunk head and don't move, and it ain't shooting at you like the
Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and
hit it. You don't even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.
Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to
wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they
break real easy. It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at home. I'm
about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in
Silver Lake. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but
I'm only 5'6" and 130 pounds, and he's 6'8" and weighs near
300 pounds dry.
Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers
get onto this setup and come stampeding in.