letters from my father – letter 9

February 13, 2012

Dad’s platoon


Dear Granther & Granpee,
I received yours Aunt J’s & Uncle Harrys letters. Tomorrow we have rifle inspection by the Colonel. This has been a very busy week but much better than last week. I’m begining to like the Marines a lot now. I have gotten used to being bawled out, so I don’t mind that any more. We have been having bayonet practice this week and more “extended orders.” We were running up a hill with our rifles and I hit the ground so hard on the signal that I cut my hand. While we lay there we have to sight another foxhole and run for it. We have also been practicing security on the march.” I was one of the rear guard. So far I have never had a dirty rifle & I hope it keeps up. We had to get all dressed up in our “greens” today and go to Company parade with transport packs. We marched with the Band & the Colonel received us, then we had inspection of packs & display of equipment. I had another haircut today. All clippers. Next week is our last one before we go to the rifle range which is about 20 miles away. We get gaurd duty next week. We are now doing the marching manual of arms. If I get a 10 day shore leave don’t come out here because I want to get home if just for an hour it would be worth it to see Indianapolis and everything back there, The chaplains aren’t very popular with the D.I.s and don’t have any assistants. If our platoon breaks up at the end of the month we get 30 days mess duty. But it will break up in the middle & we will probably get a few days gaurd duty instead. Don’t send me money as there is nothing I can buy & would only loose it. Everybody in our platoon is swell and we have had lot of fun being together. The quarters are crowded but you don’t mind it much. You can’t find Camp Pendleton & Camp Elliot on the map as they are only Marine Corp Camps out in the desert about 25 or 30 miles from town. I am sending you our platoon picture. Give my love to everyone.

love Truman

Dad is standing at the left end of the second row. He looks young, a little bit pudgy. He’s squinting into the sun. He’s wearing his cap straight down on his head, and not tipped to the side. For some reason that makes him seem like more of kid to me, a kid with gun and bayonette and one who’s learning how to run from foxhole to foxhole.

I like it when Dad says “give my love.” It’s more sentimental or emotional then I’ve ever thought of him as being. It’s like he’s revealing his tender heartedness. Or I just want to find that tender hearted part of him.

I have to get my brain wrapped back around this project. I’ve been heads down writing a couple other pieces and working on a web project and doing yard work and going on walk in town and in the woods with RU.

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