Fort Sam Houston, TX, 16 August 1968

Dear Mama,

Thanks for the questions. Please send me my pocket spelling dictionary if you can find it in my desk.

Here are the answers to the questions.

You said that the tape recorder was the best thing that I bought and that you would like one. Well... There it is as a Thanks Mothers New Christmas Years Day present.

I am going to see the First Sergeant about borrowing $100.00 from an Army organization (No interest to pay) to pay Anne & Don. If not, I will pay them $10.00 per month.

I got $20.00 after deductions at the first of July and $88.00 on the first of August. I sent $45.00 to the bank yesterday from which I will pay $10.00 to you, $10.00 to Anne & Don, $10.00 to each bank I owe (2) and $5.00 to Gub Mix Chevrolet. Total $45.00. I make $103.00, E-1 rank, per month before deductions. At the rank of E-2, which I should get soon, I will get $113.00 or so.

The Gilbertson boy has not written to me at all. Until I tell you of such correspondence, no one will ride the cycle. I will have the title here which the purchaser must have. Please phone the Gilbertsons and ask what is going on. The price I told them was $340.00 with the new tire which is in the bomb shelter.

I have met some nice boys and men. One or two have become good friends - more later.

I got the tracts and let a fellow by the name of Garcia read them when he was in the hospital with pneumonia. He enjoyed them but didn't understand much.

I think I could say almost all religions are represented here but I have lost contact with the concentrations of conscientious objectors. Class 24-B, with the exception of a few, went to Co. A-3rd Bn which started a week before we here at Co. B-1st Bn. For the past 3 weeks I have had a total of 3 or 4 hours to do what I wanted. That explains why I haven't talked or written to anyone.

I don't know what denomination the study teacher is, but he seems agreeable to all views. I have written to Kappy (Pardon the sloppy writing. I am writing on my knee sitting on the floor by my bunk.) and I hope to hear from her soon.

I heard from Bro. Jolly by way of a nice letter and package of nice literature.

Camp Bullis is about 25 miles from here and is the place where all the field maneuvers are held.

E-1 is the lowest - Private (I am here now)
E-2 is also Private (here soon)
E-3 is Private First Class (here after AIT)
E-4 can be Sergeant or Specialist
E-5 can be Sergeant or Specialist 5
E-6 can be Sergeant or Specialist 6
E-7 can be Sergeant or Specialist 7
E-8 is First Sergeant

I don't know about JWs at Fort Sam.

I did get the vitamins from D & A. Thank them for me.

The fellows in E-4 (see first of the letter) did not smoke as a rule, 4 out of 104. However, here at B-1, things are not so nice as far as swearing, drinking and so on. However, you can rest easy as far as I am concerned. We had an organization here to stop swearing (4 members). The others gave up because I was the only one who could keep from swearing.

The fellows are from any where; Maine to Puerto Rico to California to Washington. I haven't talked to anyone from Idaho.

I think the food is fairly healthful if you choose the right amounts of the right things. It all tastes good.

Sergeant Graves, our only Sergeant now, is a real good fellow; happy, just, considerate. But he can be severe when the need comes up. I have made sure it didn't for me.

I entered the USMTC swim meet and got 5th place in the back stroke.

I will be home, God willing, in 9 weeks. At that time, or before, I will know where I am going. I will have to cut this short so I can write some others.

Much Love