It’s a hard life but they say it’s good for you

20 Aug

August 20, 1943

Camp Irwin, California

Dear Mom,

It’s awful hot out here and we work awful hard. It gets up around 120 and 125 here at Camp Irwin. We have been on the rifle range for the last 2 days and we work with the machine guns starting tomorrow. We will be back in three weeks and one is almost gone. Some say we are going to Massachusetts when we get back and some say we aren’t. I wish we would but it’s not likely.

Tell Dad my Battery Commander’s name is Captain Hawthorn. What that captain said to pop was right, the army doesn’t do anything right. They tell us that we get the best training in the world. Well, I know that Bill Ferguson knows more about first aid than the Lieutenant that teaches it to us. Everything around here is like that. I get mighty disgusted sometimes. Oh well, it’s a hard life but they say it’s good for you.

I laid down on the firing range today and went to sleep and I sure have got a sore face now. This sun is tricky out here, some fellows have been killed by it just by laying out to get a sun tan. They warn us to keep our shirts on all the time.

I won’t be able to write much out here, part of the time we will be up in Death Valley on combat problems. If you looked on a good map you can find a little town called Mahaja (that’s not spelt right but it’s something like that), well Camp Irwin is about 10 miles north of that and our area for maneuvers is about 15 miles above that. Two months ago I would never imagine myself being out here but look at me now!

Love to all, Tom

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