Received your letter of the 12th today. That's not very speedy, but it's good considering the recent service. I don't care, so long as they eventually get here - that's what counts.
Christmas is over. I can't say I'm not glad. There's something special about Christmas that makes you pretty homesick. We had four days off and didn't do a darn thing but lie around and wonder what the folks at home were doing. It was nice that all of you got together this year and I'll bet you had a good time.
We are on our final day of full-scale redeployment here today with the loading of the 12th Airborne on the Queen Mary. Then we pause a week or so to get our breath and then, lookout - here come the G.I. brides! That's the last straw in this whole mess. But, although I've seen some peculiar goings on in this redeployment program, I can't conceive of their using available troop space to ship the brides over. It's bad enough to think we may be retained over here to do the job of putting them aboard. Well, Papa, by the first of the year, there will be around 175,00 men over here who are eligible for discharge in January. That's 200,000 less than they've been shipping each month. So if their intentions are honest in getting eligible men home it should be easy enough to do. They can cut redeployment in half and still handle that many troops. By the same reasoning, I should sail in February as I become eligible (at last) on the first of February - both on points and length of service. I can't miss on that part. Naturally, the whole thing hinges on the whims and fancies of the brass hats over here who are reluctant to tell us goodbye. Kind of look for me the end of February, Papa, although it can pretty easily be March. I am getting closer, one way or another.
Oh, I put in my application to visit Paris the last week in January. I"m looking forward to it very much. I think it will be very interesting and lots of fun. I hope my old boss, Capt. Williams is still there. We will really have a time then. My only worry is getting away from the P.X., but the lieutenant said if it was at all possible I could go. The devaluation of the franc will make it possible to do a little spending. France is having a hell of a time controlling the black market.
Yes, it was certainly too bad about General Patton. He had what it took to be a real soldier and what his presence meant in winning the war should never be underestimated. It makes you damned mad to think he had to lose his life the way he did.
The foreign ministers seem to have hit it off better in Moscow than in London. That's good news, Papa. We are beginning to learn how to prevent war and I think the people themselves should give as much attention and loyalty to these men who are trying to win the peace as they did to those who won the war.
So, dear father, it's time to say au revoir again. Don't let Matt get at that Sauterne. I'm liable to be dry upon arrival. It won't be long, Papa.
Your loving son
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I cry every time I read this. "That's good news, Papa. We are beginning to learn how to prevent war..." He believed it. He was a good man.