I was in an 8-week basic training company at Fort Riley during June and July of 1952. I don't recall any Orientals in the company but there was one black soldier in the company and he was in my platoon. He had already been in the Army for seven or eight months and had started, but not completed, the 16-week training twice. Something about pneumonia once then a broken arm in the second session. He was from the deep south somewhere, possibly Mississippi, and was the platoon comedian. I never saw him actually write a letter but he would lay on his bunk after lights out at night and entertain us by pretending to dictate a letter to his girlfriend back home.
"Dear Liza. We done had a fun day walking 10 miles to da rifle range in da hot sun. We shore do have a lotta fun marching all over da place. An da drill sergeant talk to us all da while. He say hut two, hut three, hut four and stuff like dat. It shore is fun. Sometime he say sound off and dat means we starts ta count. We counts all da way ta four sometimes. We all justs loves air drill sergeant. I don't know what his real name be but most of us just calls him asshole an names like dat."
He always ended his dictated letter the same. "I is fine, 'cept my pet dog done died. Here's wishing you is da same. Signed, Forever Yours."
J. Charles Cheek
On Sun, 14 Sep 2003 01:58:19 -0400 John Baker <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
Stay safe, buddy.
J. Charles Cheek (John)
Author of "Stay Safe, Buddy"
A Novel about Humor & Horror during the Korean War
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