Camp Lee, Va.
March 11, 1918

Dearest Mother and family;
It has rained all day today and we did nothing but lie around and listen to lectures, etc. I was glad to get Grace's letter telling me the news of the advent into our family of my first brother-in-law. We have waited a good while, haven't we? I couldn't have picked a better one had I the choosing. As to getting "hooked" before coming down here, tell sis I said "go to it." You know my sentiments were mostly prejudiced anyhow being an old bachelor and also somewhat of a trifler, as it were. I'll say again that I am proud of Ben for a brother-in -law and I hope Florence can do as well someday. I know myself that anyone that "caps" her will have to be there. Write me all the particulars as they come up in this sweet period of preparation and anticipation. I suppose the Rev. Dr. W.S.* will officiate I would like to be on hand but as it stands I suppose Ben will be without both ushers and best man. I am in good health and spirits and eat heartily of everything set before me. When I come back I won't be as picky as I once was. When I come in off the field down here as hungry as a bear and the dinner is made up of macaroni & cheese I eat it because no one will go down the cellar and get a piece of steak and fry it with eggs for me. I eat mush and milk for breakfast and can also go tomatoes and bread crumbs. Even ate sauerkraut the other day. That's coming down to it. Eh what? Where we had dust yesterday, we have a sea of mud today. Instead of being asked to enlist for oversea duty at the meeting yesterday, we were permitted to listen to Dr. Wesbohm (?sp) the Field Secretary of the American Red Cross. He was a wonderful speaker and told the boys what the Red Cross did for them here, even there at home. By the way if you are still knitting helmets you may as well stop, for orders are against wearing them and all sweaters must be under the shirt, if worn. I told you I guess that Mr. and Mrs. Perry were here Sun. but I was the only one they didn't see. I am in the kitchen tomorrow for the first time. We take turns about. I don't know what to do about applying for transfer. They are very strict about it down here and all that must be handled thru the commanding officer. That is, you take it up with him, and if he thinks you would be of better service to the nation in another branch of the service he can recommend you for transfer. One Sergt. here wanted transferred so he went straight to Washington, and when our Capt. found it out he was reduced to the ranks and confined to quarters for two weeks. I don't want to get into trouble but I suppose if I took it up here, [
rest of line illegible because of crease in paper.] I like it here alright and altho the infantry is the lowliest branch of the service, they are the ones that "give them the steel" and also the ones who will win the war in the end. I am thinking it over however and will use my head. I don't want to get out of this into a soft snap because that would be yellow. At least it would look that way from where I sit. What is Dad going to do? These officers down here can almost tell your name before they see you. They were showing us how to turn around without looking at our feet and one pulled me out front to demonstrate. When I did it he said "See there, this fellow has been used to doing fast work -his feet don't need watching." Some guys, the old ones, I mean.




Best love to all from your son.


 * Rev. Dr. W. S. is his uncle, William S. Lockard, a minister in the Methodist Church in Pittsburgh.


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