A Rural Youth Enrolls in the Marines.
Dear Mother and Father,
I hope this letter finds you in good health. As for me, I am doing well. Please extend my greetings to Brother Walt and Brother Elmer. I must say, being a part of the Marine Corps is a vast improvement over working for old man Minch. I strongly urge them to consider joining before all the available positions are filled.
Initially, I felt a bit restless as the wake-up time is nearly 5 a.m. However, I have come to appreciate the luxury of sleeping in. Before breakfast, there are minimal tasks to complete – just straightening the cot and shining a few items. There is no need to tend to hogs, pitch feed, mix mash, split wood, or tend to fires. It is a remarkably different routine.
Men are required to shave, but it’s not too unbearable thanks to the availability of warm water. Breakfast mostly consists of lighter options such as fruit juice, cereal, eggs, and bacon, but lacks substantial items like chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie, and other typical meals. However, please inform Walt and Elmer that they can always sit with the two city boys who consume coffee as their main sustenance. The combination of their food and yours will keep you satisfied until noon when the next meal is served. It’s no surprise that these city boys struggle to walk much due to their limited energy intake.
We engage in “route marches,” which our platoon sergeant claims are lengthy walks meant to toughen us up. I have no authority to contradict his belief. However, these so-called “route marches” are merely equivalent to the distance from our home mailbox. Consequently, the urban individuals often develop sore feet, leading us all to return to the base via trucks.
The sergeant can be compared to a school teacher as he tends to nag quite a bit. The Captain, on the other hand, resembles the school board, while majors and colonels simply travel around with disapproving expressions. They rarely bother us. The following anecdote will greatly amuse Walt and Elmer. I keep receiving medals for my shooting skills, although I can’t fathom why. The target is as small as a chipmunk’s head and remains stationary. Unlike the Higgett boys back home who shoot at you, this target poses no threat. All one needs to do is lie comfortably and hit it. Additionally, there’s no need to load your own cartridges as they come conveniently packed in boxes.
Next, we have what they refer to as hand-to-hand combat training. This involves wrestling with the city boys. I have to be extremely cautious because they tend to get injured easily. It’s nothing like dealing with that old bull back home. In this aspect, I’m considered one of the best, except for Tug Jordan from Silver Lake. I managed to defeat him only once. Tug and I enlisted at the same time, but there’s quite a difference in our physical build. I stand at only 5’6″ and weigh 130 pounds, whereas he towers at 6’8″ and weighs nearly 300 pounds.Please make sure to urge Walt and Elmer to join without delay before others catch wind of this opportunity and rush to enlist.