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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Letter 98 ~ November 18, 1918

I tell Minnie I celebrated her birthday by pulling K.P.

Camp Funston
November 18, 1918

Dear Little Girl,

Well it has been quite awhile since I have written something to you & I ought to be able to write a long letter & I have thot of lots of things to write about but when I go to write it down, there seems to be nothing interesting. I haven’t gotten a letter from you for a long time & I know that you haven’t received many from me this last week so I guess we are even.

Last Saturday was your birthday. I wonder how you celebrated it. I celebrated in the kitchen. I came back from the rifle range Friday & they put me on K.P. right off the range. Each fellow has to take his turn at it. While I was taking the fatigue clothes off the spuds & stirring the slum, I thought of you & your advancing years with tears in my eyes knowing full well that you would be a whole year older before I could enjoy your presence once more.

Friday afternoon after I got back, I went into the orderly room to put in for a pass. He asked me if I had one last week. I said I did & he said I couldn’t have one this week. I couldn’t have used it till Saturday night anyway being I was on K.P.

Well, I didn’t get very down hearted about it because the weather was so [bad] that night. The top sergeant (he is the gent that says yes or no) was in the kitchen. I accosted him at a very psychological moment, just after he had partaken of a very hearty supper & asked him again for a pass. He told me to come into the orderly room & he would fix me up. So I rolled down my sleeves, took off my apron (flour sack), slicked down my hair, knocked on the orderly room door (if you don’t knock, maybe you get a pass & maybe you don’t) entered, closed the door, popped my heels together, & snapped out a salute that would be the envy of any previous service man in the army. All this was done with the usual grace & elegant bearing of our gallant here.

Well, I got my pass & reached town about 8 o’clock [Saturday night]. I phoned out home & mother said that [my brother] Willis had already gone to town but went on horseback. I hunted around for him for awhile but couldn’t find him & so went to a [picture] show. You know you said that you were going to a show this time so I had hopes of seeing you inside as well as Willis. I found Willis just as I was ready to go home but walked out from the end of the car line anyway. If I didn’t walk just about so much every day I wouldn’t feel right.

I wish I could have seen you last Sunday before we start for Utah, if we go. We heard that the 20th [Infantry] was going back to Ft. Douglas at Salt Lake [City], Utah for the winter. I would like to go but I am afraid we won’t. I think that we are more liable to stay right here in [Camp] Funston until we are discharged. The 20th [Infantry] came from Ft. Douglas & most of the boys are wild to get back there. Many of them are enlisted men & will not be discharged until their time is up. They were sure disappointed that they didn’t get to go across [to Europe] because most of them have been training for over a year. I want to go mighty bad but now that the war is practically all over, the sooner they discharge Pvt. Ward Griffing, the better suited he will be.

We got up at five o’clock this morning & went out to the field with our dinners in our haversacks: 1 sandwich & 1 hard boiled chicken in the shell.

They are issuing four day passes again & I went in to see if I could get one soon. They said I would have to wait for a week or two because I had had two passes already. I hope I can get mine about Thanksgiving time.

Well, I will have to tell you the rest [later] I guess because they are going to put the lights out pretty soon. So Good Bye Minnie, -- Yours, as ever. -- Ward

[P.S.] This is my last sheet of paper.

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