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Monday, February 9, 2009

Letter 44 ~ October 9, 1918

I write my mother to let her know I'm still okay and to update her with camp news. I tell her that I have enrolled in the War Bonds automatic deduction from payroll program.

Addressed to Mrs. Hattie P. Griffing, Manhattan, Kansas

Camp Republican
October 9, 1918

Dear Folks,

Well the “flu” hasn’t got me yet but I had better not brag because it is going thru the company. I believe tho that it is slacking up a little. Some of the men are coming back from the hospital. Our company had a very good percentage of men that didn’t get it as compared with others in camp. Our company is the largest with about 1400 men [and we have only had] about 140 cases while some companies of about 200 reported 150 cases. I have had my throat sprayed nearly everyday and have kept my bowels open and have been careful to not cool off too quick so I may escape.

We sure had a rain Monday night. I thot our tent was going for sure. The walls were rolled up and we had to crawl out and let them down and move our luggage and bunks out from under the leaks. My bedding got a little wet but the sun yesterday dried it out and I sure slept fine last night. After the rain was over during the night sometime, the sergeants came around and made us roll out and tie up the walls again.

We didn’t drill yesterday P.M. The men were sure glad because we drilled hard in the morning and it was so close and I don’t believe a man in camp was feeling just right.

We got paid late yesterday evening. We received pay for time from September 5 to October 1 – 26 days. Then they take out $1.50 for insurance and $1.00 for laundry (the laundry is a steal because we can’t get any laundry work done). That left $18.50. Not much for a month of hard labor, is it? Then they want us to buy [war] bonds with what is left. I signed up for 1 bond. They take $5 out of my pay for 9 months and $4.75 on the 10th month.

I guess I will send home $10 to help pay back what you sent me. I would like to buy a nice present for Minnie on her birthday but if you folks are buying cattle, it will come in more handy there.

You asked if my arm got sore [from the vaccination I received]. It only itched a little while. I don’t believe you could call it a “take.” I can’t feel it now.

They sure drilled us today – forenoon and afternoon both. We go to a different drill field now. It is quite a little farther away and they make us walk there and back at a cadence of about 140 steps a minute. Willis knows how fast that would be. It brings the grease out of a fellow.

I heard the other night that measles were in camp. It certainly is one thing after another. I have my doubts as to whether the quarantine will be lifted by Sunday or not. Yesterday we heard that today a bunch of about 65 were to be transferred to the medical corps but they weren’t. I hoped I would be one of them because then I would get out of here. Well I hope your dinner turns out all right. Did that airplane light out in [Washington] Marlatt’s [fields]? We see them everyday here. Goodnight, -- Ward

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