Letter Home During Basic Training

back to my military history

I found this unfinished and undated letter written home in my note pad, it must be dated sometime in the first full the week of June 1972, because in to Dad's letter # 37 he mentions I returned to Ft. Knox from home the previous Sunday, June 4, 1972.

Dear Mom, Dad & Gang:

I'm in the supply room waiting to go to the hospital for my fix [allergy injections] at 1:00.  Two of us just finished sweeping this room.  Big deal!  I just hope they don't have any work for us to do.

I'm writing this on my note pad.  I'll rewrite it on paper tonight.  Our D.I. told us "don't be surprised if we don't win the plaque this week" [for most orderly barracks].  The Captain might give it to one of the other 3 platoons, for morale purposes, 'cause we're the only platoon who's won it.  No doubt we'll win for this week but we may not get the plaque.  Honestly I kind of expected them to do that when we won the second time.  That sounds like the Army.  If we win it this week we'll break the record.  Four weeks is the longest any one platoon has even held it.  You know, it makes me a little proud when someone asks us what platoon we're in and we say "the forth."

I hope I'm coming home this weekend.  We've all got passes this weekend 'cause D.I. Long wants us all out of the barracks for the weekend.   We've got 2 major inspections next week, one Monday & one Wednesday.  Wednesday the battalion Commander, Lt. Colonel Brown will inspect the Company.  We've got 2 days of bivouac, I think next week.  This week should be a real busy week.  Tomorrow night we've got night fire.  That's from about 10 at night to midnight.  We've got that Friday, too.  Our passes will start Saturday morning at 6:00.  While I'm at the hospital I'll call the airport and make reservations.  Hope the planes aren't filled up.

It sure felt good to be home again.  It feels like I've never been away except for the knowledge that I had to be back Sunday.  If some of those pictures Mike took turned out well get prints of them so I can give them to Debby.  Especially the one of me in my khakis with my weapon.  That should impress her a little.  Her address is Debby Franklin, Monticello Dr, Inkster, MI  48141.  If I can get them to her in another way I'll do it.

That radio really sounds good, it's nice to hear some music again.  They've played some really nice tunes on FM here at night, like Jethro Tull's Thick As A Brick.  Too bad I can't hear it in stereo.

We're doing a new kind of P.T.  It's called Rifle P.T.  There are 6 exercises, at least that we've learned so far anyway.  There's one that we hold our weapons over our head, arms locked at all times, then swing it down to shoulder level, bring it back up, then down towards the ground and repeat it about 10 times.  When someone messes up he makes us hold the weapon straight out in front of us, arms locked, til he feels like letting us quit.  I had a feeling we'd be doing that.  It builds up your shoulders nice but it hurts like crazy.

While I was sitting in the Orderly Room waiting for them to give me something to do, the Captain & Lieut. and First Sergeant were talking about the 4th Platoon and the other 3.  The Captain took the other platoon Sergeants through our barracks to show them what a barracks should look like.  The lieutenants asked who won the daily inspection for today and the Captain told him "the 4th."  He sighed in mock disgust, said something like, "Good Lord!"  One of the Sergeants said once we're first we won't settle for second.  I guess the other sergeants took note & then took their own platoons through their own barracks to show 'em what they should do.  Far out!

Man, the weather down here is super hot in the afternoon the last couple days, our fatigues have been soaked with sweat.  It's been really bad marching back a couple miles from the range.