England, from a hospital
I’m enclosing 2 money orders. Put one in my account, and take the other one and see that everybody has a merry Christmas, with lutefisk and everything... Dad, if at any time you can use any money for anything, just get it from my acc’t, as I don’t get any interest on it and it could just as well be in use. Also if Helen needs any, just draw it out and use it.
Say, when I was hit, I had that little Bible from Aunt Ithel and my pictures of you in my gas mask, which I also kept a few grenades in. I had my mask hanging on a post near my hole, and a westbound .88 blew it to smithereens. So will you get me some of those pictures we took when I was a corporal. Or some new ones if you have them.
I am sending my “German Sharpshooter’s Medal” (Purple Heart) home. Let me know when you get it.
Now that I’m well, I realize I was “shaken up” worse that I thought. Saw doctor’s reports. Not so much the seriousness of each strain, sprain, and pulled ligament, as the number of them... No, I’m not keeping anything from you, on my word. Next time I’m going to get myself a nerve injury. I’ve seen several. They leave a leg or an arm temporarily paralyzed, and they have to send you to the States to have an operation to connect up the nerve, and you get several months’ leave while it heals up again.
I passed an uneventful 22nd birthday the other day. It seems funny to think I am that old. I should feel more grown up, but everywhere I go they nickname me “Junior” so that may be why. The Russians are going good... They say they killed 295,000 Krauts. That would be quite a heap.
Getting out of the hosp. today and a 7-day leave at a resort starts tomorrow. Then back to my outfit.
I’m a son of a gun if [my girlfriend] Betty ever misses a single bet. She is sure after me, and I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but it is not mutual, and I wish she would quit. I don’t want anything to do with girls until I have made my first million dollars, and not with her even then. She is a good kid, but she is like her mother, and wants to run the works and eat with 3 forks and 4 spoons and cut glass every meal.
Dick, you make sure that you have completed enough arrangements so you can join the Navy before you even have to register for the draft. Find out what you have to weigh for your height... Stay the heck out of the Army, as the Infantry is too hungry for men right now. I wish I could have you with me. You could be my runner and carry my little radio and I could teach you and take care of you at the same time.