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Training in the USA

February 16, 1944

Letters from Theodore Katz

sketch of soldier marching in the rain

Ted's sketch, titled "The rains came" - Camp Forrest, 1944

Wednesday, 16 Feb
7:30 PM

Dear Helen,

I haven’t received a letter from you since Sunday – and it seems like three weeks rather than a mere three days – but I know it’s on account of the traveling you’ve been doing. But now that you’re back let’s have no more of these long interims between letters – remember what the poster in the Post Office says * – WRITE TO A SOLDIER EVERY DAY!!!

In my last letter I told you of the trouble concerning leakage of information. Much has happened since then. When the CO asked for the guilty man to confess, no one stepped forward. Sam knew that the Lip was the culprit, but the Lip was intimating that Sam was the guilty party and everyone began to look askance at Sam – and you can imagine how Sam felt. He was jumping up and down with rage. That evening in Tullahoma, Sam and Eva and the Lip and Mrs. Lip had a very hot session with the Lip denying everything and Sam almost jumping out of his skin with rage, nervousness, etc. because he knew that unless the Lip confessed, the burden of suspicion would be placed on him or all of the married men would be restricted for the rest of our stay at Camp Forrest. So he forced the issue, telling the Lip that if he didn’t tell the truth in the morning he (Sam) would see the Captain himself. And so the battle waged with both sides getting hot under the collar. You should hear Sam tell the story. He really relived it telling it to me, getting that wild look in his eye and sweat pouring from every pore. I had to quiet him down every few moments until he would become coherent and rational enough to continue. Anyway, the next morning the Lip confessed. As a result, he has been “broken” to private, taken out of the Supply Room, sent out into the field and restricted to the Company area for a couple of weeks. Nonetheless, he’s lucky he wasn’t court-martialed as some of the officers wanted to do.

Enough for the news – Tonight I’m sending two masterpieces instead of one – and for the same price too. They both show the weather conditions in these parts and the titles speak for themselves…. I thought my tour of Guard Duty last night would never end. It was a very wet, cold and boring evening. I can tell that I’m not used to missing all that sleep anymore – I’ve been sleepy all day. And to think how in my prime (remember?) the loss of sleep didn’t affect me very much – but I think the real reason was that giving up sleep for you and giving it up for Guard Duty are two distinctly different things – and what a difference!! I would like to tell you more about the difference and to tell you many more things, but I find that my mind is loggy and sluggish tonight and without the stimulus of your actual presence I am at a loss for words. But someday I shall make up for it – may it be soon.

And so to bed………..


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