9 September 1962

 

Dear Folks,

 

Weíve just arrived back from bivouac. Thatís where we pitch tents and live outdoors instead of in the barracks. It was cold out there. My sleeping bag was too small and I ran out of flashlight batteries.

 

I lost my squad leader's job about a week and a half ago so Iíve gotten rid of a few worries. I guess I couldnít keep up with it or I couldnít afford to keep up with it. I spent $20.00 of my first paycheck on essentials in one day. And I canít cash your check any place. I guess Iíll send it back.

 

I got a postcard from Doug but he didnít give any return address and it was close to camp closing time anyways so I didnít send anything back. I hope he has good luck at college.

 

You told me to think over everything before I rush into any Army schools. Well I decided about a month ago that I didnít want that electronic school so I signed into extra basic type of training, but I shouldnít have planned on that. Yesterday I was sent to the personnel office. I didnít have any idea what they wanted. They told me that after I complete basic I will be sent to Fort Devans, Massachusetts. And they had me fill out a form for a security clearance. My next assignment has something to do with ASA. Thatís the Army Security Agency and everyone says that it is the best opportunity in the Army. Fort Devans is where they conduct a 24-week school for ASA and they say that it is one of the best Army bases. It is also the closest to home. So Iíll have to plan on this from now on. I never expected to be placed at Fort Devans ever.

 

That electronics school appointment that I passed up would have been on computers and I would probably have been placed in a foreign embassy, as thatís where most of the electronic cryptographic computers are placed. Iím now glad I passed it up though.

 

The guy who I appointed as my Alpha team leader and who our platoon sergeant appointed to take over my squad is trying to get into ASA. He says that itís the white-collar job of the army. Now he says it has a lot to do with radio.

 

In Dougís postcard he thought that it was quite a joke that I was a squad leader. Tell him that it was.

 

I still havenít seen Bill down here. I ought to try to find him today.

 

Bob and Bill, September 9, 1962.

 

This morning I took a taxi over to the 2nd Training Regiment to see Bill. He was painting beds and helmets. After that we went up to a PX near there to buy some batteries, but they didnít have any so we went to his dining room to eat, but it wasnít open. So we walked across the confidence (physical) course to my new mess hall. It was a short walk and I found out that I didnít really need a taxi earlier except to find out directions to his company. After dinner we went to the PX in my Regiment area. He bought his radio batteries and I bought a cheap camera. We came back to my barracks and I had a few pictures taken. Then we went to a movie, ďSergeants Three.Ē I saw it last summer at a drive-in. So did Doug, but I had forgotten that Iíd seen it. Bill had also seen it. After that we split up, going to our own mess halls.

 

He will be home next weekend and he will be through with basic and I may have a pass to come home on but I probably wonít come all the way up there. Our company hasnít been issued any passes yet except for rare exceptions.

 

I finally remembered that Vickís is the best type of cure for a cough that makes you almost throw up. In fact one of the boys in my squad did throw up every time he started coughing. He went on sick call a few mornings and I guess they cured him with lousy medicine. I havenít fallen out of ranks for sick call yet, but I do have too much of a congested chest to do any distance running. But so far my cough has not been too thick and my breathing has remained normal. My nose was a continuous nuisance for only one day, so it hasnít been too bad. Everyone has caught a cold sometime or other.

 

Iíve got to go pack my duffle bag for another bivouac. Weíll be out in our tents again. And it gets cold out there. One boy even claims that he saw snow at 3:00 one morning.

 

I think that the electronics cryptographic school is also connected with ASA. So maybe Iíll get it later on or maybe they teach it at Fort Devans.

 

I canít remember what else I wanted to say so Iíll stop. Iíll see you people sometime.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Your son, Bob



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