January 16, 1944
Bryant College Service Club
Providence, Rhode Island
My dear Friends:
Thank you very much for the box of candy, but especially for your lovely letter! It was such a pleasant surprise to hear from you. I wasn't even aware that you knew I had joined the Women's Army Corps.
Though it was nobody's fault, the package did not reach me in time for Christmas due to the fact that I had just been transferred from Ft. Des Moines, Iowa to my present address. Nevertheless, everything happens for the best and I am enjoying your candy right now. Everyone in the barracks has shared it with me and they all think as I do--how thoughtful of you with your lack of numbers now and so many calls upon your from all sources, to say nothing of the large number in Service with whom you keep in contact.
I am very well, but still only a "rookie." Perhaps you already know I was only inducted on the 28th of October 1943. Our Rhode island group was particularly favored by graduating from basic training on the Anniversary of Pearl Harbor, December 7, and shortly afterwards I was sent here. It was just like leaving your Alma Mater.
Perhaps you have never seen a Wac Camp. If not, I'd advise you to do so at your earliest opportunity. It is the most touching sight, at Retreat, to see such large numbers of American women standing at attention in full dress uniform, while the band is playing the Star Spangled Banner, with the Stars and Stripes unfurling above them, and courage and determination written all over their faces to defend that flag and all it represents whenever the need arises, at any cost! It makes you feel so proud and happy to be one of them, even though it meant leaving home, family and friends and everything you held most dear in order to do so. After all, if there wasn't any sacrifice attached to it, there wouldn't be any value either. I am still very fortunate, as I have a Military Leave of Absence as a State Civil Service Employee of the Department of Agriculture and Conservation, and have something to look forward to upon my return.
It was a real pleasure to read your letter and one can see that Bryant activities are still going strong regardless of the handicaps which you must encounter due to the war. But then Bryant always made the hurdles!
My present address is:
Pvt. Melina A. Giroux, A-120529
W. D. S. G.
Ft. Myer, Virginia
I am now working in the War Department at Washington, D. C. The work is intensely interesting, but I can't tell you anything about it. If any of you would like an idea of the work involved read the article, "My 30 Days in the Pentagon" in the January issue (1944) of Reader's Digest.
I assure you, I should be pleased to receive any news you may have to offer at any time.
My wholehearted appreciation for your kind wishes and a Happy and Successful New Year to all at Bryant!
Melina A. Giroux