The Trip to Casper

Casper, Wyoming
Nov. 27, 1942

Margie Darling:

I can’t tell you how lonely I am, having a little time on my hands and not being able to spend it with you. Talking to you on the phone tonite was in one way such a grand experience, and in another so disheartening. Knowing that you’re feeling badly and having troubles, makes me feel rather low for not being with you. It was probably cruel for me to call you, knowing that you wouldn’t be feeling too well. Everyone is asking about you, and everyone is dying to meet you. Dad and Mom, in fact, all the family, are crazy to meet you, and they all wish we could be here together. I have to see you soon, darling, or I’ll go mad, absolutely.

It seems awfully good to be home again after such a long time away. The town has changed a lot, so many new people and soldiers around. It seems to be pretty busy around town, from what I’ve seen since arriving. Oh, how I wish J.R. Hopkins and Wife were here instead of just me. Both my aunts have told me that it was a good thing I came home this time, or Mom never would have been able to stand it. Three times since I’ve been in the Army, she’s made plans for my homecoming, and has been disappointed. So the 4th time was a charm for her. Uncle John was awfully pleased that you mentioned him in your letter. He says he wants to come and wash dishes for us. He’s pretty good at it, too. Donna has also asked about you.

Now to tell what we went thru during the past several days. We went to classes until noon, Wednesday. Then we came back to the barracks and changed into our officers uniforms, went back over to the Academic Bldg., and graduated. After that, we came back to the barracks, got paid, and finished packing. We didn’t get into town until quite late, only to find that the train would be late. It was due in at 10:55, and never got in until about 11:30 or after. We wired ahead and requested that they hold the plane if they could. We got into Denver a good hour or hour and a half late, and the plane had been gone for 10 minutes. They held it as long as they could, and took off without us. We figured finally if we could catch the bus in Cheyenne, we’d make it home last nite, so we caught the same train out of Denver that we had just come in on. But it was late getting into Cheyenne, and we missed the bus by 30 minutes. Just as we started to leave the bus depot, an empty bus came in going our way to pick up a bunch of draftees, and he caught up with the regular bus, and we came home on it. So, darling, I didn’t fly after all. I’m sorry I worried you by planning to fly.

You poor darling, you sounded so weak and sick over the telephone tonite. My heart is aching to be with you at this very moment. If you’re as lonely as I, our being apart is really worse for you, because you’re sick besides. If only it weren’t for our financial condition at the present, and the fact that Mom was so dead set on my being home, I’d be in Salem with you right now.

Took Donna visiting with me today, and she worked me into going shopping with her. She wanted a record of “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” so we had to go look for it. We couldn’t get it, so we got some Pinnochio records. She’s been awfully busy around here since I got here. She won’t let Dad + John and I use the ash trays she so carefully cleans. She brought us a cracker box to put our ashes in tonite so we wouldn’t dirty the ash trays. She and I have argued all day, and she always wins.

Darling, I’m sorry about your raise being so disappointing to you. But, please, darling, come to me as quickly as you can possibly get there when I find a place for us. I’m sure the people you owe won’t object to getting their money from me instead of from you I know you didn’t want me to pay bills you’ve already contracted, but I want to do it, darling. Remember what it said “for richer or for poorer”? If we can be together, we’ll be both. Richer in happiness and poorer in cash. But I’ll trade cash for happiness any day. So please, please, darling, try to swallow that lovable independence in that one small matter, and come to me as quickly as all available means of transportation can get you there. I asked for Camp Adair, but there don’t seem to be any openings there at present. I’m still hoping and praying for one, though.

Darling, you don’t know how good you made me feel when you mentioned the fact that you had been asked out by other men, and had refused them. I’m selfish, I guess, but I can’t help myself on that score where you are concerned. Some of the old gang want me to go out with them tomorrow nite, and get a date, but I just can’t do it. In the first place, there isn’t a girl in the whole world who could replace you, even for a date. There are lots of nice girls in Casper, but none can hold a candle to my darling little wife. I feel like a heel, turning them down, I mean the gang, but I’d never be able to forgive myself if I should let them talk me into such a thing. I’m too much in love with my wife. I don’t know how a husband can thank his wife for turning down dates with other men. All I can say is that your doing so makes me feel even more happy than I can tell you. Right now, my eyes are full of tears. Tears combining happiness and unhappiness. Happiness because of your love for me, and unhappiness on account of our being separated. I guess it sounds rather childish for a man my age to be crying, but so are the facts. Until we can be together again, I know I can never feel real happiness. It just can’t be. We must be together soon, we must, we must. I feel, deep inside me, that I’ve done you a cruel injustice by marrying you and leaving you right away, but it’s that same selfishness that did it. For your sake, we probably should have waited, but darling, as I’ve told you before, it’s my fault we’re both so unhappy now. So please, darling, say you’ll let me provide for our finance. Say you’ll come to me and let me serve the double purpose of relieving you of your financial worries, and trying to repay or rather catch up with the happiness we’ve missed since we were married. Pride, or independence, can be swallowed temporarily, but I can never keep my love for you under control nor stop the ache in my heart that weighs like lead there. It is for both of us, darling, that I ask you to forget your financial worries when the day comes that there is nothing else to interfere. I can never be happy until I’ve erased some of the hurt I’ve caused you by marrying you and leaving you as I did.

Must close now, Marjorie darling. I love you terribly, and I can never ever change. Please, Marjorie, get welllquickly. Please, God, make her well and bring her to me, unworthy as I am.

Goodnight, darling, with millions and millions of kisses and prayers from your devoted

Jim

Ed. Note: More shorthand and a whole lot of kisses.

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Just Hunky-Dory

Ft. Riley, Kans.
Nov. 22, 1942

Darling:

Must write again to the sweetest girl in the world and tell her for the umpty-thousandth time. (Conrad Thibault is singing “There Are Such Things” on the radio right now, and it’s really nice.)

My darling, I hope you are all well again and going strong again. The mere thought of you not being in the very best of condition kinda makes me sorry I’m here. Where I’d rather be and where I should be is with you, my own darling wife.

We had a class party tonite, just sort of an informal gathering of the class, together with some of our instructors and their wives. Some of the fellows had their wives and girl friends, too; and you’ll never know how much I yearned for your presence. If only you had been here, my happiness would have been complete. As graduation approaches, I grow more and more lonely for you, especially in the knowledge that even after graduation, it’s going to be quite a while before we are reunited. I say quite a while, because even a moment away from you is a terribly long time. When we do get together again, I’ll be so glad to see you, I’ll probably go crazy, entirely. If I ever crush you, darling, in our first embrace, please remember that it’s because I’m so crazy about you.

Now, to stop feeling sorry for myself. Went into town yesterday evening to check on my uniform. My blouse hasn’t arrived as yet, nor have my boots. My breeches are cut but not yet made, and one shirt is still just a piece of cloth. Outside of that, everything is just hunky-dory. Things are pretty hard to get, materials being so scarce. Gotta keep my fingers crossed, honey, or I’ll just barely have enough uniform to graduate.

Hope a letter came from you today. I wasn’t here at mail call, because we went to town to see if our blouses had come in. They were supposed to be in yesterday, then this morning, then this afternoon, and now tomorrow. We have a full schedule until Wednesday noon, and we graduate Wednesday afternoon at 2:45, or 12:45, your time. No rest for the wicked, and the righteous don’t need it.

Got my ring size last nite for you. It’s size 9. An 8½ fits pretty well, but it’s just a little snug in going over my knuckle. So, I guess either one would be all right. I’m not planning to ever remove it from my finger after it is wished on by you. So, if my hand doesn’t swell with a warmer temperature,8½ would be fine. I really can’t say which is the better, but either one would be all right. Hope that isn’t too confusing.

Darling, I must close now. Remember, I love you so terribly it hurts, nearly. Goodnite, my darling. I miss you more than you’ll ever know.

Your loving
Jim

Ed. Note: Teensy bit of shorthand today

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Allotments

Fort Riley
Nov. 19, 1942

Darling:

Got another letter today from the sweetest girl in the world. Sure hope she is feeling a lot better by now.

Please take good care of her for me, won’t you? I’m leaving that job up to you and Mrs. Jensen absolutely. It’s too bad they haven’t gotten a better place for your new offices. Where are they located?

All I can do is pray for an assignment to Camp Adair, so please pray a little, too. I’d love to have the apartment you speak of, because it sounds like just what you want.

Sweet, please don’t feel badly about owing money. We’ll get it all cleared up somehow, and please don’t let it interfere with our getting together. Wherever I go, I want you to be with me as soon as it is possible for you to get there. We can take care of any little debts afterwards. If, by the time I’m assigned, you don’t have everything cleared up, I hope you won’t let it stand in the way of our being reunited, because I want you so much that nothing else matters. I want to help you, darling, in every way possible, and I hope you won’t feel, as you seem to indicate, that you’re not being fair to me. Darling, I want to make you happy, and I want to be happy myself. So, regardless of your own financial status, remember that I owe all the real happiness I’ve ever known or will know, to you, and to you alone.

Now, an explanation of the situation as regards the money some of the girls are getting. Back in June, the Government started a compulsory allotment plan for men with dependents. The men eligible were those from the grade of private up to and including sergeants. Staff sergeants, technical sergeants, and master sergeants already were eligible for rental allowance of $1.15 per day, so they were not included. The ones who participate in the plan allot $22 of their pay each month, to which the Gov’t. adds $28. They first allotments were taken out of the men’s June check, if I’m not mistaken, and the first payment wasn’t to be made until Nov. 1st. Inasmuch as the plan is now in full swing, the dependents will receive $50 per month from now on. I hope I’m making it clear. I, as a staff sergeant, was eligible for the $1.15 per day for rental allowance, so I was not eligible for the allotment. My base pay is $9600, and then the rental allowance is added to that, making a month’s pay for me, $130.50 in a 30-day month, or $131.65 in a 31-day month. I hope I’ve cleared it all up for you. It sure would be swell if we had it coming in, but we haven’t. Ours comes in every month, and it’s more than any of those under the allotment plan can possibly draw, unless they have several dependents.

We sure had a time out on our overnite bivouac. I was on guard for a couple of hours, and darling, it was really a beautiful night. I spent the whole two hours looking at the beautiful moon and stars and wishing you were with me. Darling, I relived nearly every moment we’ve ever spent together, and some we will spend together. After I got into bed and got to sleep, my feet got outside the blankets and when I got up, I thought they had been entirely frozen. Then that afternoon, we got into a prairie fire, and put it out. So we went from extreme cold and to extreme heat all in the space of about 12 hours.

Glad to hear that your brothers made the air corps. Good luck to both of them, and I hope we can meet them soon.

Darling, I feel pretty low about not being able to come to you on my leave, but as I explained in my last letter, the way things are, it’s just out of the question. If only we could have that time together to give you a honeymoon. I’ll love every moment with you, and detest every moment away from you, be sure of that.

I’m to get my clothes Saturday nite. Some of them are ready now, but not all. The way it looks, I may not be able to get boots. They haven’t come in yet, and if they’re not here by Saturday, I’m going to cancel the order. They should have been here a week ago.

I’ll try to get my ring size Saturday nite, too, my darling. And I’ll try to get a list of Christmas card addresses, too. I’ll do that Sunday, if there’s time.

I must close now, sweet. I love you and miss you more every day. By the time you get this, it will be too late for you to get a letter to me here before I leave, so write to me in Casper. The train leaves here at 11:55 Wed. nite, and arrives in Denver at 7:30 the next morning. We are trying to make plane reservations from Denver to Casper, which would put me home at about 10:00 or 10:30 Thanksgiving Day. Otherwise, going by train, we won’t be there till the next morning, as the train from Denver doesn’t leave until evening. I’ve got the folks planning on my arrival on the train, so if I catch the plane, I can surprise them, and if not, I won’t disappoint them.

Goodnight, darling. I love you terribly, and I trust that you are all well again.

Lovingly,
Your own Jim

Ed. Note: Shorthand time!

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Glad That It’s Not Us

15 Nov. 1942

Darling:

Just gotta write you tonite, ’cause I’ve been terribly lonesome for you all day and because if I don’t write you tonite, it will make quite a spell between letters. We go out tomorrow morning and stay out till Tuesday evening, so there won’t be much chance to do any writing till probably Wednesday evening. Hope I find a letter waiting for me from my adorable wife when I come in Tuesday.

Sweetheart, I’ve been worrying about you all day, wondering if you were still feeling badly. Sure hope you are much better, and are up and going again. After you get your teeth taken care of, you’ll probably be less susceptible to colds etc. Please take care of yourself, darling, and don’t get too anxious to be up and going.

Went to town last nite, and check up on my uniform. So far, they have one shirt ready, but they’re still working on the rest of the stuff.

Got a nice letter from Mother Haind yesterday, and it enclosed a note from Daddy Haind. I was surely glad to get it, or I should say, them. I know I’m going to like your parents, and only hope they will approve of me.

There wasn’t much doing today. Went to the show and saw “Gentleman Jim.” It was really a very good show. Lots of laughs and lots of action. Darling, I’d give anything if you could only laugh with me in a movie again soon. “Tales of Manhattan” was here last Sunday, but I didn’t go to see it. Guess I should have.

On Sundays, the lads around here sit around most of the day admiring their nice boots, working on them, and generally dreaming of the the 25th, when they can wear their officer’s uniforms officially. The suspense is just beginning to take hold in earnest. One of the fellows, and awfully nice little guy, has been expecting to become a father for the past week, and the strain of the studies, the approach of graduation, and the suspense of expecting a baby are really telling on him. As a general rule, he’s quite sunny and cheerful, but not lately. Another fellow here is in practically the same boat, but he’s older, and it’s not working so hard on him. At least, it doesn’t appear to be. I’m so glad that it’s not us, darling.

Oh, my darling, whenever I think of your being sick and so many miles away from me, it nearly drives me nuts. I’d love to be with you right at this moment, holding you close to me and feeling that certain special feeling inside me that always is with me whenever we are together. It’s a kind of warm feeling, with tingles, darling, that only your presence can cause. No other sensation is half so pleasing. I only hope I can make myself as pleasing to you, though I’m sure it can’t give you the same degree of pleasure and contentment.

So, you see, the sooner we can be reunited, the sooner I’ll be happy again, and the better I’ll be able to exert my efforts towards making you happy.

Darling, they’re going to turn out the lights in a few moments, so I must say goodnight. Please take good care of yourself, and write soon. I love you terribly, Mrs. Hopkins, now and forever.

Your devoted husband,
Jim

Ed. Note: Shoooooorthaaaaaand!

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Small Ratio of Casualties

Nov. 13, 1942

Darling:

I was awfully glad to get your letter today, but it sorta made me feel bad to hear that you are still sick. I hope my darling is well by now. Wish I could be there to help nurse you back to health. Would you like that sweetheart?

As I said, I’m in the best of health although my nose is kinda stuffed up tonite. We were out tearing around the reservation in jeeps all yesterday afternoon and all day today, and got my system well filled with dust and grit. As far as I know, my weight is the same as when I came down. It’s funny, but lots of the fellows have gained weight here. Guess it’s the regular hours.

Please convey my thanks to Al + Bernadette, as I barely have time to write you.

You hadn’t told me that your brothers were joining the air corps. Sure hope they can make it all right. It’s no more dangerous than any other part of the army. In fact, it is really surprising how small is the ratio of casualties in the air corps.

Cecil + Scottie Jameson are definitely relatives. Scottie is my dad’s sister. They really are grand people, too. Although if you’re at all like me, you won’t like their daughter. But Cecil and Scottie are just about my favorite relatives. Scottie is like you in lots of ways. She has quite a sense of humor, and she’s game for anything. Cecil is one of these dry, comical guys, with a drawl. I know you’ll like them.

Darling, I’ll have to think of some names for our Christmas card list. Will let you know soon.

Wish you could see your parents. If I’m assigned to a post in the East, there’s a good possibility, because you could just sorta stop off on the way.

Graduation day is only 12 days away. Think of it, darling, by noon, Nov. 25th, you should be the wife of Lt. Hopkins instead of Sgt. Hopkins. I’m having some calling cards printed, and will send you one. Later, I’ll get some for you and some for Lt. + Mrs. Does it seem funny to you to be going by the name of Mrs. Hopkins instead of Miss Haind? At first, I had quite a time addressing your letters. I either wanted to call you Miss Marjorie Haind or send the letter to [Jim’s mother’s street address], Casper, Wyo.

About my leave, there are only two things I can possibly do. Either give up my leave entirely and stay here, or go home. I can go home for around $4000, and if I stay here, there’s not much chance of getting any leave again soon. Wish I either had the time or the money to come to Salem, but if I did come out by train, we’d only have four days at the most, and the money involved is just more than I can see. In fact, it just isn’t, that’s all. In view of all the circumstances involved, the only thing to do is to go home, even though I’d much rather go to see you. I’d give the world if I could either come to you or take you home with me. Darling, I want you and need you so much that I’m afraid I’ll go nuts if I don’t see you soon. I must be rather inept at handling my money, or something, because Speck is going to Salem. I don’t see how he’s going to do it, but I guess he does, or he wouldn’t be going. He hasn’t bought but just barely enough uniform to graduate in, so he’ll have to pay later, whereas I guess the difference is that I’m pretty well fixed for uniform, and we can get together quicker after I’m assigned. Poor Speck isn’t going to have his wife with him, as she’s going to stay in school.

Right now, darling, I feel as though I’d trade this whole darned thing for some time with you. I hope you realize and understand why I can’t come to you during my 10 days, even though I’d give my left leg to be able to do so. But there are so many things involved, such as lack of money, scarcity of time, the distance involved, and also the fact that in the past two years, or the past 19½ months, my parents have only seen me for 10 minutes, make it practically impossible for me to come to Oregon. I imagine people will probably think it peculiar that it should be that way, but I know you understand and realize what I’m up against, and that our delaying our getting together for a little longer really means that we can be living together sooner.

I’m going to ask to be assigned either to Camp Adair or Fort Lewis. So pray for luck, darling.

Must close for now, sweetest one. Please get well soon if you’re not already well. Remember that there’s one who loves you terribly, whose every thought and deed are dedicated to you.

Write me again soon, my darling. And please, please get well soon.

Goodnight, darling, from you lonely husband who wants you to always love him, and who hopes he can be worthy of you.

With all my love and kisses,
Jim

Ed. Note: Shorthand time!

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I Never Was Lucky At Cards

Fort Riley, Kans.
Nov. 11, 1942

My darling:

Got your letter today, and the bars yesterday. Please remember that those bars will always be the most precious ones I’ll ever have. Thank you, darling, for sending them.

I got a big kick out of one certain part of your letter, the part about your buying the wooden shoes. Ever since you saw them that day when you were buying wedding shoes, I’ve been expecting to hear that you had broken down and bought them. I’m glad you did get them, sweetheart, because I know you’ve wanted them for a long time. I’ll sure be glad when I can be near enough to hear you clattering around in them.

It’s only two weeks until the fatal day. Time is dragging more and more as the day approaches. We spend most of our time in classrooms, and usually the same classroom, old 201. We are now fighting the battle of Room 201, and it’s really a battle. It’s awfully hard to keep awake listening to lectures and discussions, but a guy doesn’t dare go to sleep.

In answer to your question, they put the lights out at 10 p.m. here. It was 9:30 at first, but when the days got shorter, 7 a.m. was too dark for the first formation, so they set the whole day up a half hour. We go to school from 8:30 till 5:45, eat supper, study hall at 7:00 until nine, lites out at 10, and bed check at 11. Of course, I forgot to mention that we get an hour for lunch, but after you walk about 6 or 7 blocks from the Academic Bldg. to the barracks, pull the distribution box, get our mail, eat, it is just time to fall in again and march back to the Academic Bldg.

The war news really looks good today, darling. Let’s pray that it continues to get better.

The weather is pretty cold here of morning and evenings. It’s dry, though. Not bad at all. Please take care of yourself, my darling, and get rid of your cold. As for your husband, he is disgustingly healthy, except for heart trouble which only one person can cure.

I got a copy of the Nov. Readers Digest, but so far I’ve only read one article, the story of the soldier writing to his wife.

Wish I could see you in your red dress, sweet.

I still hope to have my assignment by Christmas. Guess they’re sending them out just as quickly as possible. Too bad one of us can’t suddenly dig up a couple hundred dollars right fast.

So Charlotte is going to be a mother? Please offer her my sincere congratulations. Darling, I feel as you do about having children under the present circumstances. It wouldn’t be fair to you or the child as things are now. We really have had so little time together, too. Darling, I’d give anything to be able to hold you in my arms right now and tell you with kisses just how much I’ve missed you, and how much I love you. Words are so inadequate in comparison with caresses, and my lips are so hungry to feel yours pressed against them. In all the times we’ve traded kisses, my heart and soul have been poured out to you. With each kiss you accept from me, you take a firmer grip on me. Whenever I think of kissing you, my stomach seems to contain a cold, hard knot of loneliness.

Every nerve, every cell within me cries out for my Margie. If anyone had told me this time last year that I’d be going crazy with loneliness for a girl, I’d have called him crazy. In all my life, during all the time I’ve spent away from those I love, never did I experience loneliness until I met you. Last summer, when you went home, I thought I had reached the extreme height of loneliness, but now that seems terribly mild. Be sure, darling, that I never want to be this far or this long away from you again. You say that it is hard to believe you have a husband. It seems awfully peculiar to me at times to realize that I have a wife, but when I think it over, it seems inconceivable that I could have ever existed before you became my wife. And on top of that, the realization of what a wonderful, sweet, adorable person she is only serves to amaze me that such a divine being can really be married to an unworthy mortal like me. You’ll never, never realize the happiness youve brought me by even associating with me, allowing me to love you and to tell you of my love, much less becoming my bride. Maybe it’s because I never was lucky at cards. Please, my darling, try to realize how deeply runs my love for you, how strongly runs my pulse at the mere thought of you, and how swiftly beats my heart at the slightest contact with you. The few short hours of married life we have spent together were as near to being heaven as any mortal time could be. And the week-end we spent in Portland and Seaside come very near to the same thing.

You have undoubtedly gained the impression that I am terribly, devastatingly in love with you. I am more than that, darling, but finding the means to express the depth and extent of my love is practically impossible.

I must close now, my darling. Write again soon, and remember to love

Your own, adoring
Jim.

Ed. note: Oh, how I wish I knew what Margie’s wooden shoes mentioned toward the start of this letter looked like! Perhaps something like these. And now, as usual, more shorthand:

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War News

Ft. Riley, Kans.
8 Nov. 1942

Darling:

Got your letter yesterday or the day before, but didn’t have a chance till now to answer. Today is gloomy Sunday again, and I’m in the throes of missing my darling little wife. Sometimes I wish we didn’t have any time off at all, because when we do, I get so darned lonesome it’s pitiful.

Went to town last nite and checked up to see how my uniform was coming along. The progress is kinda slow, though. Got a haircut, and guess what! I finally found a place where they had those little sabers in stock, so I got you one.

Forgot to tell you in last Sunday’s letter that I saw a good show. “The Glass Key” with Brian Donlevy and Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake. I don’t care much for her, but the rest of the show was very good.

Was glad you could get the bars, honey. They haven’t arrived yet, but I’m looking forward to getting them. I’m glad Bernadette didn’t convince you that the silver ones were the ones to get.

Darling, the war seems to be looking better for us, doesn’t it? Maybe we can have our life together sooner than we had expected. It’s funny, but the first thing that always enters my mind in reading the war news is how it is going to affect us. In a way, I’m glad the war came, because it brought us together, but I do wish it could have happened some other way. There’s only one thing I regret in having met and married you, and that is that I’m not able to be the kind of husband you deserve. My one purpose is to do what I can to end the war so we can be together for good. Being your husband, doing all I possibly can to make you happy is all I ever want to do or be. Everything else I do is just a means to that end. I’m awfully selfish, I guess, in wanting you so much, but it’s hard to be any other way. I can never be entirely happy away from you.

Darling, I wish you wouldn’t feel badly about having a few little debts. You’re not costing me anything, because all the money I’ve sent you is money the Govt. allows me for having you. And money, or the lack of it, is really such an insignificant thing. I’d much rather be able to provide you with the things you want and need than anything else I know.  But so far, Uncle Sam has paid that which you have gotten from me. I’m just the middle man, that’s all. In fact, I regret that my wife has to work, and after we get squared around, I don’t want her to have to provide for herself. I want to do that. My not being able to fully provide for you right now seems to be a rather sore spot with me, because you have brought me so much happiness already that it seems the least I could do to repay you would be to better provide for your wants and needs. What I’m trying to say, darling, is that I don’t want you to feel that you’re taking money out of my pocket, although by rights you should be. My own living expenses are practically nothing, and as soon as my uniform is paid for, you and I will be able to live on $25200 per month. There’s no reason why we can’t. So please, please, darling, don’t feel badly about my sending you a little money. By writing this as I have, I’ve probably succeeded in confusing the issue, but I’m sure you understand how I feel.

Mrs. Hopkins, I’d like to take you in my arms right now, hold you close, and tell you how much I love you. Let’s pray that it won’t be long until I can do that. Where else in the world is there anyone like you? The answer to that is simple; nowhere. There can never be another to compare with Margie, my Margie. I was just thinking yesterday about the first time you called me “darling.” I’ll never get over that, I guess. And remember the first evening we had all to ourselves? We had such a wonderful time enjoying each other’s company. That was the night when we went over the marriage ceremony; and from then on, I felt deep inside me that we were really married, even though not in the eyes of the rest of the world. If after that, you had decided that you didn’t want to be mine, it still wouldn’t have made any difference in the way I felt towards you, because I gave myself to you that night. Even if you had met someone else you liked better, you still would have my heart, even though it would be a broken one.

Darling, I’ll never be able to tell you how much I love you, even though I write and speak of it constantly until the day I die. When you speak or write and merely say you love me, it tells me all I want to know, but when it is my turn, I can’t seem to say enough to cover the subject. All I hope is that you will never tire of my telling you, because I can assure you that I can never tire of telling you.

My darling, I must close now, and write to the gang at Fort Lewis. I love you terribly, Margie darling, and I always will.

Your humble, adoring husband,
Jim

Aaaaand more shorthand: