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Back in the USA

October 4, 1945

Letters from Theodore Katz

torso sketch of a man in a tshirt

An undated sketch of Ted's

[postmarked October 4, 1945]

Wednesday –
4:00 PM.

Dearest Helenchikle –

This has been my first opportunity to write since my arrival last evening. They’ve had me running around like a chicken without a head and, as is usual in the Army, - in spite of all this activity – nothing has been accomplished.

But – to bring me up to date – let me tell you all that has happened since I left you at Penn Station after giving you that puny little kiss (but, I know you don’t like smeared lipstick). Well, I got a good seat on the train and the trip to Washington was uneventful. As I left the train and entered the station proper, I heard my name called out – looking around, I couldn’t see anyone I recognized and then I saw a Navy man pushing his way toward me. It turned out to be an old college friend. So – we talked about what a small world it was and then parted.

I then took a trolley down to 11th & Penn where I could get a bus to Ft. Myer. At this point, things began to get confused. First of all, it seems that Ft. Myer is divided into different posts – one North & the other South – and different buses go to each one and with a mob waiting to get on the bus, I got on the first one that came along and got off at the North Post where I learned that I was at the wrong Post. Well, I finally got to the right place and arrived at the proper destination at 6 o’clock, so you can see it was a good idea to start early.

I still lacked my usual appetite but ate a little at the mess Hall and then found an empty bunk and went to sleep early. This morning I looked around and there practically within an arm’s reach is the Pentagon Bldg. Well, I was told to report over there for an interview, so I walked over. It seems that the Hq. of this outfit is over there – they take care of communications or something to do with dit-dat-dit-dat – and they’re room is 4D 223. Is that anywhere near where you used to work. – Anyway they gave me a map and a pass and it took about ½ hour to find the right place. When I got there they started looking through the papers, and intended to have me work in the building, but when they saw that I had 72 points they just told me to forget about that – that there’d be no sense in starting to work there and then be discharged in a few weeks. Well, then all my records had to be checked, then I was taken down to be photographed, and I also had lunch at the Army mess in the building.

And, Helen, why didn’t you tell me that the place is full of “fruit-cakes” – I saw just thousands of the sweetest boys you ever saw in your life – Really! Whoops! The place is also full of very nice girls – but none like you, baby. In fact, this place is surrounded by women – civilians on one side, Wacs on the other, Marines to the side, and Waves on the other.

But, I don’t like this place – it’s all crazy – too much confusion. I still don’t know what’s going on and still don’t know when I’ll be getting out. They’re discharging men from here and I’m sure to get out this month – though they’re still discharging men with 80 points and over. They certainly make it a slow process – and it’ll certainly seem even slower – because as I see it – those of us with over 70 points won’t have any regular assigned job, but we’ll just pick up cigarette butts or do K.P. until we get out. Disgusting – isn’t it? – But – I’ll be wearing that “ruptured duck” [honorable service lapel patch] before the month is out – won’t you be proud?

Just took time out for chow, and if I remember correctly, you told me that the food was good here. Well, allow me to tell you that you’ve been grossly misinformed. It’s just like the rest of the Army food – It stinks. But – nevertheless my appetite is back. It must be to be able to eat the so-called “stew” I just consumed. And also as yet, that cold has failed to materialize – so maybe, I won’t have one after all. In short, I feel fine – so don’t worry about that. Everything’s O.K.

How’s it with you? Do you miss me? Foolish question – I know you do. Tomorrow, I expect some mail from you to arrive. I found letters from Jack, Dave and Sam waiting here for me. Most of the boys down there aren’t very happy – they’ve got them on a road construction gang – but Dave and Jack have been able to angle themselves into pretty good jobs. Dave is officer’s mail orderly and Jack thinks he can get into the silk-screen Poster shop. But the rest of the guys are slaving.

So – no matter what happens around here, it won’t be bad – and just think – within a month I’ll be out of this mess – and looking for a nice suit – and then I’ll be looking for that wide-band ring to put on your finger. Then I’m going out and catch a cold – so that you can give me a rub-down – and then we’ll make lots of “nachess” – Yes?

Regards to the folks –

I love you –

P.S. How’s the garage coming along?

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