World War II Letters: Frustrations and Waiting!

 When not on guard duty, Dad was in charge of the engine supply room, but after the war ended, there was much less to do, and he began to feel as though there was nothing of importance for anyone there to do.  I gathered that Dad didn’t like most of the officers and felt a tinge of resentment about their power over him, as he was only a sergeant. His frustration was growing in his continually thwarted efforts to return to the states, though his twin brother Eddie was already on his way home.  Apparently, Violet, their sister, was not good at writing often enough to satisfy Dad’s need for letters.
October 14, 1945
Sunday
Guam

Dear Mom & Dad,

     I haven’t heard from you since around the first, I guess.  Is anything wrong?  Have you heard from Eddie lately?  I hope he gets to come home.  I haven’t heard from him either.  Darn it, I wish we could all come home.  I think we may leave here in December.  They are keeping all of the news about when we’ll get home from us.  We can’t find out a thing.  So far this month I haven’t received any of those stars, so I may have to start getting in these officers’ hair.

     I have been off today, and all I’ve done is lie around.  I don’t get a regular day off anymore.  Until they put another man in charge of the third shift, I won’t either.  I shouldn’t kick, because we don’t have to work hard anymore. I’ll really be glad to get out of this army and get a job again.  I would swing a 16-pound sledge all day to get out right now.  I can’t wait to get a good job again and do a day’s work.  This army would make a bum out of a man if he let it.  Bejabbers, it’ll be a fair day when these “awfucers” go back to selling apples on the street corners, won’t it now?  It’s a sad state of affairs when a body has to put up with the likes of them.  There seem to be more lieutenants running around the landscape than there are privates.  Gee, what will happen if some of these officers can’t get any pencils or apples to sell?

     Well, how is everyone there at home?  Hope everything is alright.  Have you seen Bonnie lately?  You have?  Boy, are you lucky.  I have received four letters from her this week.  Pretty good, I’d say.  I sure do miss all of you back there.  I dream of the day I’ll come home again.  Remember the last time when I came home from England?  We talked until the wee hours of the morning.  That sure was a wonderful day for me, to see you again after such a long time.  How are Jesse & Bee?  Did they answer my letter?

     Well, there isn’t anything I can say about this island, only that it is a heck of a place.  I hate it more everyday.  I’ve been getting along alright and I’m feeling fine, but I still don’t like it.  I guess I can stand it for a little while more though.

     Well, take care yourselves, and write soon.  Bye for now.

Your loving son,
     Elwood

p.s.  Not YOU, Vi.  I’m yer brudder.

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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