I write Minnie about such romantic things as taking care of my rifle and my feet.
Addressed to Miss Minnie G. Frey, Manhattan, Kansas
October 10, 1918
Dear Little Girl,
It got so rainy this morning that we came in from drill about 10 o’clock, so I will take some of this extra time in writing to you. There isn’t any news so I will write about most any old thing & so don’t be shocked if the letter is a little more chopped up than it always is.
The first thing we must do when we come in on a day like this is to care for our rifles – clean off all the dirt & water & then give them a light coat of oil. Then if our feet are wet, we must change our socks. The infantryman’s first care is for his rifle & then for his feet. They are very particular about the condition of a man’s piece.
I just now wrote a card home & asked Mama to send me a cake. One of the men in my squad got one from home & I never tasted anything so good in my life except some candy I got a while ago. There are so many men gone to the hospital now that we get all we want to eat & then some – but it is rough stuff. I believe the “flu” is slacking up now but if it stays cold & sloppy, it may go on. Some say tho that this change of weather will help fight the disease.
That sure was too bad about the Seaton’s. I pity Mr. [Roy] Seaton. He sure has had his cupful of sorrow. It will be nice if Charlie [Scholer] gets to go to France. I hope he gets his commission. Our Major said that more than likely we would get to go before snow flies. He said that the war couldn’t be over for a year yet even if the papers are talking so much about peace. We drilled in the trenches for the first time this morning.
I am afraid that you had better stop planning on seeing me, for then you won’t be disappointed when I don’t come for I am beginning to feel that my pass is still quite a ways off. In the letter I got from you last night, you said that if I could come home just once it would be the happiest moment you ever experienced. Kid, I am afraid it might be worse than none because I would just hate to have to come back [here], but I am coming as soon as I can just the same. I guess we are both looking forward to that day when I can come home & stay with such eagerness that it will make years out of months. Of course if you want to be a nurse, go ahead. But Kid, do you know that if you aren’t home safe & sound when I get out of this army, I will wish that something had happened to me too. Take care of yourself & I will do the same.
Goodbye Sweetheart, - Ward