Michael and Josh have finally gone off to college upstate, and Leon got himself a job at the garage over on Coleman Street. Lord in heaven, I can't believe people are going to let him fix their cars. I will never forget what he did to the lawnmower.

Ed, over at the post office is going to help me so that I can send you a nice package of goodies. Kallie has made you something special too. I hope you're all well and I know that you're making friends.

Maybe this military idea of yours wasn't such a bad thing after all, but I still wish that there were another way to pay for college. At least you are getting to do some of that traveling that you were always talking about.

Still, I can't wait until you get to come home for a stay. The coffee just doesn't taste the same in the morning without you here to share it with me. We think of you all the time and love you and miss you very much. Write again as soon as you can.




Dear Mom,

September 22nd.

How is everyone? I'm doing O.K. The weather here is HOT. It feels more like the middle of July, and the dust is just gross. It gets into everything. Basic training is what they call this, but I think they should call it Pain training, or better still, Humiliation training.

I wish I could write to you more often but I'm so tired in the evening I barely have the time or the energy to do anything at all.

My commanding officer, we call him 'Demanding Officer' behind his back, is Sergeant Bell. He must hate me or I must have rubbed him with the rough end of a stick somehow, because he has been on my case since day one.

First it's one thing then it's another. Can't make the bed right. My clothes aren't done right. Can't dress a field pack right. He is driving me crazy!

I can't let him know that it's getting to me though, because then it only gets worse. I'm trying to deal with him the way you taught me to with coach Danno. I can't wait till Basic is over though. I'm counting down the time. 76 days to go, and counting.

Martin is doing much better at all of this than I am, but right now he is real worried about news from home. His wife's been quite sick and he's written home four times but hasn't heard back yet on what the problem is. I hope everything is okay. When we actually get a chance to talk, that's all he talks about.

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