Guarding prisoners is a lot easier than walking post

11 Nov

November 1, 1943

Camp Irwin, California

Dear Mom

It’s 1 o’clock and I have the rest of the day off. I’ve been on guard and I’ve finished pulling my shifts. We have two prisoners and I’ve been guarding them. Night before last one of them was a guard and one of them was a prisoner and both of them took off with the Tommy gun and everything. They were caught before they got very far and now they have them handcuffed and guarded. Guarding prisoners is a lot easier than walking post and I get it almost every time I’m on guard because I qualified as expert on the Tommy gun. But if I had to shoot one of them I don’t know whether I could do it or not and the orders on these prisoners was to shoot at the slightest move.

We got paid today and I’ve got about $62. I was paid $43.10 and I had some left from last payday. I have to get a few things next time I go to Los Angeles and the rest will go towards my furlough. From the way things stand now, we will probably go back to Haan the first of next week and our furloughs start about November 22. I don’t know if that is what will happen for sure. In the army they are always changing things.

If I could get my camera out here I could get a lot of good pictures out. It would really be worth the trouble of shipping the camera to get those pictures. If you would, I would like to get you to send it to me. If you can get hold of a couple of rolls of film, too. It would help because film is hard to get out here. Get 35 millimeter, Plus X film. I think I have some already around the house or at Bernard’s. I believe I gave it to him with the camera. Maybe pop could make a small wooden box just about the size of the camera to ship it in and then it would be easier to keep here too. You could insure it for about $45.

I really would appreciate it if you all could do that for me. You’ve done so many things for me I hate to ask for anything else, but some of these days I’ll be able to repay you all for helping me so much since I’ve been in the army. It mixes up a guy’s life so much to have to leave home with debts and everything, but I’ll get straightened out sometime.

I sure will be glad when I get that furlough. It seems like years since the last time I was home but it’s only been about 4 months.

Love to all, Tom

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