November 14, 1943
Letters from George Daley
Sunday November 14th
Dear Folks --
I don’t doubt you wonder where I am and why I haven’t written but today is the first day I’ve had off in 5 long weeks. In the army you don’t quite [sic] work just because it’s Sunday. We’ve worked just as hard Sundays as any other day as far back as I can remember --.
We work 24 hrs a day and 7 days a week. It gets dark here about 6:30 at night and so there isn’t much time for letter writing. W built roads awhile in California, went on the rifle range and then maneuvers. After maneuvers we built roads in Arizona and at the end of this week we’re going on 3 more weeks of maneuvers. This stretch ought to be over Dec 11th. From then on your guess is as good as mine. However we’ll still be in this country by the last of January – I hope!!!
But I’m ready to go across now for there are too many of my buddies over there for me to be wasting my time here. There isn’t much question about Thanksgiving and Xmas this year. It’ll be the first time in 20 years I’ve never been home for those occasions but don’t worry for there are many more boys who won’t make it this year either --- and even some who’ll never make it!! As for what I want for Xmas – it’s nothing you buy in stores or other places, in fact money won’t buy it!! I just want the time to come when we all can celebrate Xmas’s [sic] like we have in the past. I’d like to see the time when war is a thing of the past. So you’ve better have a tree this year just as you’ve always had. Just for what the tree represents, next year things will look better I’m sure.
I tried to send telegrams for your birthdays but they don’t send those kind of telegrams any more. As for a little gift take $25.00 out of my money in the bank and buy something for you and Harriette. And don’t tell me you’re not going to because that’s the way I want it, no exceptions!!! I’ll be sending about $300.00 more along pretty soon. You don’t have any place to spend it out here in the desert.
The desert isn’t so bad for even though there’s a lot of sand we have the prettiest mountains you’ve ever seen. There are all kinds of cactus out here – some of the funniest imaginable. A lot of the tall kind that tower over 10’ tall. In case of emergency you can get water from the insides of them. Lots of snakes, all poisonous ranging from little sidewinders who bury themselves in the sand to 6’ diamond back rattlers. Every night it’s rather essential to shake out your bedroll for who knows whether a snakes [sic] going to sleep with you or not. The climate here goes from one extreme to the other – it’s hot during the day and so cold at night it freezes water. Our hot water for shaving we get by letting our steel helmets sit out in the sun during the day. Of course you can always drain the water out of the trucks – it’s a little rusty but hot --.
I haven’t seen or heard from Carroll Page yet but he’s our here about 75 miles to the northwest. I may run into him on maneuvers. I wonder how he likes it here – send along his address and I’ll find out. If Grafton Miller is in the Combat Engineers his old man better start worrying because he’s sure as hell going to know what the business end of a pick & shovel are. When they start laying bridges and mine fields he’ll come in tired more than once. He might as well forget his typing if he’s in a line company because he’ll not need it there.
As for Ellen – just keep plugging and believe it or not I’ll write soon --. Just remember I don’t have a lot of time to write. After the war’s over I’ll tell you about some of the places I’ve been. I’ve seen a lot of country and different people these last 10 months. You’d be surprised what a great country we have and all the wondrous beauty it contains.
I’m going to write to dad soon--. He’d sure like to see this country now – it’s changed quite a bit.
Say Hello to Gramp & Gram – tell them I got their letter and will answer that soon,
Ross is no doubt safe & sound and where the mail doesn’t travel too fast. I often think he’s better off where he is than to have got his commission. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be --.
So long for now,