The land that God forgot

28 Aug

August 28, 1943

Camp Irwin, California

Dear Mom,

Whenever you don’t hear from me for awhile don’t worry, I just don’t have time to write. Almost every time when we get off I just drop in bed and go to sleep, I’m so tired. We will be back at Haan by this time next week I’m pretty sure.  I am on guard today. We walk post 2 hours and are off 4 hours so it gives me some time to catch up on my writing.

When I get off guard this evening I will be free until Monday morning. I may get to go to the nearest town which is Barstow. It would be good to get out of here for a little bit. I don’t think we are coming out here anymore. If we don’t go east we will probably go to the beach to finish our training. I’ve heard that this desert training has been discontinued, but I don’t know. We don’t get much news except we get Sunday papers.

I guess you are right, there are better days ahead. It doesn’t seem right that we should be sent  all the way out here, but that bunch that left Camp Lee just got a bad break. Most all of us are from Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. I’m getting used to being away from home but still sometimes I get to thinking about home and I get mighty homesick. I don’t think the war will last so much longer, I hope not anyhow.

There is one thing you ought to see out here on the desert and that is the sunset and sunrise. I haven’t ever seen a more beautiful sunset than the one last night. When the sun goes down it makes the mountains and sand look red and the shadows on the mountain are a darker red. Then as the sun goes on down they turn to a deep purple. It really is beautiful. Out here, they call this desert “the land that God forgot” but he didn’t forget everything. That is really worth seeing.

When I think about it I realize that since I’ve been in the army I’ve really gotten around some. Two months ago I never expected that I would walk around in Hollywood and see those movie stars and be out here on this desert. It really was a thrill the first time I went to Riverside too. That is one of the most beautiful  towns I ever saw. I have a large map of the U.S. that I got on the way out from Camp Lee and I’ve marked down our course and everywhere I’ve been in the U.S. It kind of surprises me when I look and see where all I’ve been.

Next week we will go on out to Death Valley.

Love to all, Tom “The Duke of the Desert”

P.S. Sgt. White  gave me that name when they called us out for formation the other day and I came running out in my shorts.

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