Letter or Postcard – Letter
Sender – Ralph Peterson
Recipient – Phyllis Peterson
Postmark Place – Fort Sheridan, Illinois
Postmark Date – 22 Feb 1943
Letter Date – 19/20 Feb 1943
My dearest wife,
Well here I am at last. That is I got in here about half past five Thursday night. But we have been pretty doggone busy all the time so I have not had time to write until now. It is just after chow and there isn’t much to do until about seven o’clock. Then we have to get some more of these examinations. Boy and is there plenty of them. I have got all my clothes and all together they weigh about 100 lbs. Some load to carry, eh? They all fit swell and they are worth about 100 bucks, and if we lose it we pay for it. The last thing we did today was to take a test to see where we were best fitted. We won’t find out until tomorrow and if they need us we will probably be shipped out either Saturday night or Sunday night. By the time you get this I will be on my way to only God knows where but we automatically get a furlough about six months from now or maybe even less. I hope it is about two days from now. I sure am getting lonesome for you but there isn’t much I can do about it I guess. I can hope though. By the way, I suppose my clothes will be home about as quick as this letter. There are about 3000 men here right now. They are coming in and going out at about 1800 a day. Say, don’t write to me while I am here as I might be gone. I will let you know when I get where I am. The lights are going out in about five minutes so I will have to close with all my love to the sweetest and dearest wife in the world. I miss you like the devil. Say hello to Pa and Ma for me.
Lots of love, Ralph
PS you will get 50 bucks a month starting last Thursday. R. P.
February 20, 1943
Yes it’s me again. I didn’t have time to mail this letter yesterday so I thought I would add a little bit on. We just got done with our first drill and boy am I tired. We had a hell of a tough Corporal drilling us and he was tough. Another reason I am writing this is I have a paper to send home so you can get your money. All you have to do is send a copy of our marriage certificate to the address on the top of the paper. I will put a circle around it. You will get $28 from the government and $22 from my check. That leaves my check about 28 bucks. Then they take four bucks for bonds and $7 for insurance. But if it would help you I would just assume give it all to you. A bunch of boys are just being shipped out. A bunch from Wautoma are going. Be sure to send that paper right away.
Loads of love, Ralph
Notes: When he says to say hello to Pa and Ma my Dad is referring to my Mom’s parents. By this time both of Dad’s parents had passed, his Mom in 1930 at age 30, when Dad was just six, and his Dad in early 1942 at age 48 from a tooth infection.