Ten years since last Thursday night

Fort Lewis, Wash.
April 26, 1942

Darling,

Here I am again, wanting you more than ever before. More than I ever believed I could want anyone or anything. If only I could see you or speak to you. I’ve wanted to call you on the phone all day today, but being not short of funds, but entirely lacking same, I was unable to do so. As soon as I get paid, I’m certainly going to call you.

I don’t know whether or not any letters you may write, or have already written, will reach me before the rest of the troops get here, because the A.P.O. is still forwarding mail to the organization. Your letter(s) will probably go right back to the troop, and be sent up here with them when they come. So I don’t expect to hear from you before the balance of the organization gets here. But that can’t stop me from loving you and writing to you.

Each time I hear the song, “Miss You,” I nearly choke, and there seems to be a conspiracy afoot, because every time  turn around, someone is playing or singing that. Right now, they’re playing “Night and Day,” which is just about as bad.

Sweetheart, if we had a dollar for each time I’ve thought of your in the past ten years since last Thursday night, we’d be able to buy our home and all our furniture.

We’ve really been busy since arriving here. Cleaning up the place, painting, etc. I wish at the end of each day, I could go home to you. Some day, and I hope soon, that will be. (A couple of the boys from Salem just left a bunch of letters, but I found none from you, so will continue this to the best of my ability.)

Please try to realize that I can never express my love for you in written words. You mean so much to me that words can never fully express my feelings.

Your picture is before me right now, as it is a hundred times each day. Every time someone asks who it is, I have to tell them all about you. Guess they must wonder how I rate a girl like you, as I sometimes do myself.

I must see you again, soon, because I don’t know how long I can stand being away from you. Please think of me often, and pray that we don’t have to be separated too long. I’m jealous of everyone in Salem on account of you. Jealous of the Jensens, + Edna, because they get to see you every day. Jealous of your associates at the office, for they get to spend their working hours near you. Jealous of everyone who sees you or passes you on the street.

My prayers are that we be allowed to be together soon, and permanently. That I may be capable of giving you all the happiness you deserve. If I fail in that, it won’t be for lack of trying.

I hope to get your new picture soon, but the one I have now is the most beautiful and lovable picture ever put on paper to date.

I must close now. Be very good, and try your best to learn to love me as much as I do you. One-tenth as much is more than anyone, especially myself, could ever deserve; but I can dream, can’t I?

Give my regards to the Jensens, Edna, Loretta, and all. But to you, Marjorie darling,

All my love,
Jim

Ed. Note—This letter has a bit of shorthand hidden inside the envelope flap. @HeatherJoyLove and her mother, Tammy Miller, have been kind enough to translate it thusly (with some assumptions made where the paper is ripped and because shorthand is a personal thing compounded by handwriting styles):

“Hello Darling, I couldn’t help telling you just once more that I love you now and forever. Please don’t let anyone [anyone] steal you from me. Your [Jim]”
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