Latest news from the front

Fort Lewis, Wash.
May 2, 1942

Darling:

Just a note is all I have time to write tonight. They’ve really run the legs off me the past few days. We’re supposed to be here for a rest, but precious little rest are we getting. They’re about to drive me nuts, and no fooling.

I sure wish I could see you soon, but I don’t see much hope, because from all I can gather, passes on week-ends are only given from Saturday noon till 1:00 A.M. Sunday, and then we can get passes from reveille Sunday until 1:00 A.M. Monday. But the cut in the middle sure ruins any hope of getting as far away as Salem or Portland. Of course, we don’t know definitely as yet just what the score is on passes, and we may be able to get longer ones. Sure hope so, because I’m not going to like it if we have to be separated too long. It’s really been too long already.

Duke and Cochran told me they saw you at 12:23 P.M. today, which is the latest news from the front. They got here late this afternoon.

You know, sweetheart, I’m kicking myself at one minute for not asking you to marry me sooner, so that we could be married before I left Salem, and then the next, I’m glad I didn’t, or should I say that I’m glad we didn’t get married and then have to be separated. Looking at it from my own point of view prompts my first thought, and then, thinking of your side of it is what makes me think that it’s better we didn’t marry. I really don’t know how to regard the situation. I do know, though, that you have made me the luckiest person in the world by promising to be my wife. When you wrote that I needn’t worry about someone else’s stealing you while I was away, it gave me more of a thrill than you’ll ever realize. How could anyone as sweet, as lovely, as charming as Marjorie Haind ever promise to wait for a guy like Hopkins, is beyond me, but I’m certainly not going to let her change her mind if there’s anything I can do to prevent it.

Loving you has become the greatest part of my life. It has brought me more happiness than I can express. It has also given me some severe heartaches, such as seeing you walking the other way after k we had kissed each other goodbye. Each time I saw you, I was in heaven from the time I left the fairgrounds until we had parted again for the night. Then I really hit the earth with a thump, only to be exhilarated again at the mere thought of seeing you the next day or the next evening. Since I met you, I’ve been up and down like that continually. Then the night we parted at the gate when Lillian’s friend took us out, will always be remembered. I felt as though we had sorta snitched a little time from someone.

I must close now, as they are gonna turn out the lights on me. Be good, sweetheart. Say hello to all from me.

Lovingly,
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:

To My Marjorie Darling – I love you more than I can ever say.

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