Small, BW YMCA stationery, ‘Army of Occupation’
Großmaischeid, Ger. 1/9/19.
My dearest Olive:
Had three letters from you today, dated from the second to the tenth of November, and you can rest assured that they made me feel good. Your picture in front of the school building was good. Lon G. [Green] also wrote me a letter containing some home pictures. One of home, one of mother, one of himself out bicycling. One of bear den park and one of Loyd’s home on the Kinsey farm and they all made me feel much better. You hardly know how we boys appreciate pictures from home.
By the way the P.O. force had their pictures taken again yesterday and if we are successful in getting them, I will be sure and send you one. Do not know when we will get them.
Too bad about the schools being close so long, but they being closed against the teachers’ wills, I should think would entitle them to their full pay. Any other arrangement would be unfair to the teacher, and I think they will receive their pay in full. It is different in your case where you had to pay your board as though you were teaching. You were ever there waiting for duty to call you.
In regard to those French children, let the French take car of their own. We have done enough for them, and now out services are needed at home. Somehow the mid of the American soldier towards the French is entirely different from civilian feeling. the American soldier has but little use for most French soldiers, and will deride and ridicule them on the least occasion. To be truthful the soldiers from America like Germans just as well as the French. Perhaps all this is due to the skillful tact of the Germans. They are naturally a hospitable sort of people, and sometimes we think that perhaps there might be a diplomatic reason for all these accommodations and privileges given us. Maybe they think that if they change their attitude towards us they will receive better peace terms.
Be that as it may, as for myself and most to whom I have spoken, I have great respect for most Germans. Of course it is here as in America there are different sorts of families. Insofar as the neediness of the French in concerned, that is mostly uncalled for. France is not in such a critical condition that she cannot take care of her own orphans. In fact they have said themselves that the American soldiers should not give to those begging children whom we say on the streets in French towns. We are not troubled in the least with that here.
I thought that your judgment in purchasing your dress was good. I always liked the blue color. You will certainly need some summer clothing of some sort, and that is forthcoming. You should not stint yourself, and get what you desire. We are going to lay aside several hundred for the year. What did mother day she is doing with the money I allotted? Think she bot some war saving stamps.
Tell you what I think would be a good plan in the teacher’s favor and that is extend the term one month and pay the teachers for straight time. How would you like such a plan. to be honest with you, it seems that I will hardly be home before the middle of the summer. Have been reading some of the General March’s and Wilson’s statements about A.E.F. plans and they sound distant to me, insofar as getting home in a few weeks is concerned. Some of the boys are rather blue about the situation, but most consider it as a matter of course and take things as they come.
I spend considerable of my time in reading now, when the mail business is not so flourishing. The “Y” has come to the front now since the war is over. I bot a bar of chocolate from this evening. We have a man with us now. all during our stay on the front we only saw a Y man one or twice. They are starting an educational scheme here and have been after me as a teacher, but I consider that since the Y men are receiving a minimum salary of $2000 that I should not be required to do their work on $44 per month. Most of their work is common school work. All of that dope they are telling you about, perhaps is taking place back near Paris, but not among the men of the Army of Occupation. We most deserving of all, because we stood the blunt of hardships. I hear that all those who were actually under shell fire are to have a distinguishing badge of some sort, and I hope such will be the case. By the time I am decorated my clothes will be nearly covered with comparatively worthless insignia.
You ask if I will be excited by people making over me when I return home. The way I have it figured is that by the time we return the U.S. will have forgotten we were in a war. So I am not worried a mite about being spoiled.
Well a fellow came in and he talked all my thoughts away.