A hillbilly goes to boot camp
Letter from a kid back home to the parents,
In Basic training at SAN DIEGO MARINE CORPS RECRUIT TRAINING BASE.
Dear Ma and Pa,
I am well. Hope you are too. Tell brother Walt and brother Elmer the Marine
Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick
before maybe all of the places are filled. I was restless at first because
you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m. But I am getting to where I can sleep
that late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot
and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to
split, fire to lay. Practically nothing.
All the men got to shave but it is not so bad cause there's warm water. Breakfast is
strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of
weak on chops, potatoes, ham steak, fried eggplant and okra, sweet Potader pie
and other regular food. But tell Walt and Elmer you can always
sit by the city boys that lives on coffee and they'll give them theirs.
Their food plus yours holds you till noon when you get fed again.
And there's also supper every night not just on Sunday. It's no wonder these city
boys can't walk much.
We go on "route marches", which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to
harden us up. If he thinks so, it's not my place to tell him different. A
"route march" is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys
get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks. The country is nice but awful
flat. The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Capt. and the
Lieutenants is like the school board complaining all the time.
Majors and Colonels just ride around and frown like church deacons.
They don't bother you none.
This next part will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for
shooting. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk's
head and don't move, and it ain't shooting at you like the Higgett boys at
home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You
don't even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes. Then we have what
they call hand-to hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city
boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain't
like tussling with ole Blue our bull back home. I'm about the best they got in
this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake. I only beat him
once. He joined up the same time as me, but I'm only 5'6" and 160 pounds,
and he's 6'5" and weighs near 300 pounds dry.
Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join up before the other fellers get
onto this setup and come stampeding in.
Your loving daughter,