To His Aunt, Uncle and Cousins; and He’s Sick

Babe's cousin Gevena LePre, left, and my grandmother Florence Mauro. This was probably around 1978.
Babe's cousin Gevena LePre, left, and my grandmother Florence Mauro. This was probably around 1978.

No date or postmark. This letter did not have an envelope, and I’m guessing where in the sequence it falls. It is clearly written to his aunt, uncle and cousins.

Pv.t. Frank Mauro
Co. B-4th Trn. Bat
Camp Wheeler, Georgia
First Platoon

Dear Uncle Dave, Aunt Mary and Gevena and Genaro,

I hope you are all feeling well because I’m not. Everybody here has a cold and half of them are in the hospital.

Well, I wouldn’t exactly say our morale was low here because it’s CENSORED and everybody here is singing and having a good time. We have quite a quartet here.

Life in general here is pretty good —

I had to break off here, so I forgot what I was going to say. Now I will have to start all over.

We just had inspection and I was supposed to clean the washbowls. At least, that’s what the sergeant told me. However, I asked the corporal later and he told me I would have to dress up and fall in for inspection.

I didn’t have time to clean the bowls, so when the company commander came in to inspect the barracks, the bowls were all dirty. The sergeant got hopping made and bawled me out in front of the rest of the fellows and made me wash the bowls right then and there. And let me tell you, I never felt worse in my life. When I got in the latrine (toilet to you), I started crying, not hard, but softly so no one would see me. But I cried inside of me for a couple of hours after that and could haven’t laughed or smiled for all the money in the world. All I hope is that it never happens again.

You can tell me mother for me to send me the towels, handkerchiefs, stockings (about 6 pair), shaving cream, some wooden hangers, sewing kit and any other little things she thinks I might need. Tell her to make sure the towels and handkerchiefs are all white. And make sure you tell her not to send it in the valise, but in a package and sent it right away quick.

By the way, I’m sorry I didn’t write sooner, but I didn’t want to and I didn’t have time to write to everyone at once. And, incidentally, this is the last letter I am ever going to write until I get a letter. Then I am only going to answer the letter or letters I receive. I didn’t even want to start to write any letters, but when everyone tells me to write and I never get any back, that is exactly too much and I will not stand it any longer.

I just heard today that the other fellows that left from Camp Upton the same day I did ended up in Texas. I wish I were there and they wre here. However, there is not telling where I’ll go after my thirteen weeks. I may get shipped overseas directly from there or I may go to another camp for more advanced radio training.

There is a beautiful reading room here for writing letters, but I’m staying in the barracks tonight. There are desks, lounges, a pool table, ping pong table, small games, radio with phonograph and the latest and best books and magazines.

We also have a movie in our area showing the latest pictures for 15¢ an a reading and game room where we can play basketball, etc. We can play baseball, go swimming and go horseback riding in the summer.

I’ll have to close now.

So long,

Babe

PDF: Undated, presumably March 1943, to Uncle Dave, Aunt Mary

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