Ft. Lewis, Wash.
May 29, 1942.
I have to knock this off in a sort of a hurry, so will use the typewriter. Here we had another week end all planned, and the army fixed it up for us again. There you see what being an army wife¹ is. I never knew about it until about 4:30 this afternoon, because I worked all night last night, and slept all day, up until about 4:00. I knew if I waited until later to call you, I would most likely have to stand in line at the phone booth, before I could get in touch with you. There are still some of the boys waiting out here now to make or finish calls, and it’s now 11:00.
Guess this alert is going to last for several days, and may cover next week-end, too, so I guess the best way for us to get together is for me to come down to see you, providing I can get a pass to come down that far. After the alert, I hope to be able to get free, as this new job I have is not so confining as the other was. Being away from you has been hard enough without having two disappointments such as have occurred over the week-ends. I’m not sure whether or not they would have let you in the gate here at the post, but even if they did, I would hate to have you come all that way and not get to see anything but the Fort. That is the reason why I think the best way for us to get together in the future would be to have me go to Salem, because I’d sure hate to have you come clear up here only to find that something like this had happened.
I want to see you so much that I can taste it, but I want to be able to spend some time with you when I do see you, so my coming down looks like the best bet. They had a regimental dance planned for tomorrow night, and I don’t know whether they are still continuing with their plans or not. I’m afraid that even if they do have it, there will be an awful shortage of girls, because most of the fellows were like me, and called their dates off.
I talked to George after I made the call, so he knows all about it. He was as disappointed as I was, but there’s nothing we could do about the situation. I know one thing, if I don’t get to see you soon, I’m gonna go nuts, so pray that I will be able to get down there soon, if you want me to keep what trace of sanity I still have.
I’m now working in the same department as Carl, (Duke), T.P., Cochran and Dalley. Quite a crew, is it not? I volunteered to work last night so I could be sure that I didn’t catch it tonight or tomorrow, but the way it looks now, I might just as well have let it go. When I do get to come down there, it will probably come all at once, and I’ll have to wire you just before I leave, because something like this can come up so suddenly that it just wrecks all the plans of weeks. Something like this makes me so mad I could bite nails, and still there is nothing I can do about it, and the only ones I can blame are Hitler and Hirohito. Lord knows I have grudge enough against them already without building up any more. If I ever meet them, I’m sure gonna get even in a big way.
I’ll write more tomorrow, but I wanted this letter to get out of here in the morning, so you would get it Monday. A letter written tomorrow, wouldn’t get out of the fort until Monday morning.
There isn’t much more I can say tonight, except that I love you. Please try to keep on loving me a little, even though circumstances seem to be plotting to keep us apart as much as possible. Guess all we can do is hope for an opening, and take advantage of it when it comes. Good night, darling.
Ed. Note—This letter has a bit of shorthand at the end of the otherwise typed letter. @HeatherJoyLove and her mother, Tammy Miller, have been kind enough to translate it thusly:
P.S. I love you darling. Please try to love me just 1/10th as much as I love you. Give my best to the Jansen family.
Your loving husband²
¹,² No, they’re not married. We’ll chalk this up to Jim “playing house.”