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March 29, 1943

Dear Members of Bryant Sev.[sic] Club,

Received your letter of March 14 a few days ago but waited till tonight to answer it because I’m on C. Q. & have plenty of time on my hands.

Believe it or not I received a package sent by you to me at my reception center at Fort Devens a couple of weeks ago. In the package at one time were two boxes of chocolate covered cherries. Here’s the route the package took—from R. I. to Mass. to Miami to Colorado to Utah & to (military secret) & a long boat ride over here. Regret to say that contents of package was [sic] in pretty bad condition but appreciate your thoughts & efforts. About sending packages in the future; it is really not practicle [sic] in that we can get almost anything at our P.X. & at very reasonable prices. As far as sweets go we don’t stand short. I certainly appreciate hearing from you & would enjoy receiving our paper “On the Campus.”

I can’t say where I am but will tell a little about the place. The majority of people here are colored and are referred to as “Gooks.” There are a couple of towns that soldiers visit when they are flushed & have a day off. The main attraction is the U S O which is a large building containing a ping pong room, pool room, dance floor, lounge & library & outside horseshoe court & cafeteria. There are also some interesting sights to be seen. The natives homes are built of clay & straw for the most part & oxen drawn carts are a common sight. The natives as a whole wear no shoes & those that have them seem to prefer not to wear them, in fact I saw 2 small boys walking barefooted with shoes in their hands. It seems it is compulsory to wear shoes while in a classroom. Although fruit is supposed to be plentiful here, I eat less fruit here than I did in states. The weather is fine & ideal for swimming. Some Sunday noons a convoy takes us to the beach or on a sightseeing trip. We have a couple of movie houses on the post besides our recreation or day room. Sports such as softball & ping pong & volleyball take up a good deal of our free time. It’s nothing like the states here but there are places much worse so at present I’m not complaining. There is a great difference in non coms & officers here in comparison to those in the states. They treat us privates a million times better & that’s without exaggeration.

I pity those boys who are only getting a year & a half to complete that accountancy course. It was a bit of a struggle in two. That’s enough “hog wash” as Jerry Barber used to say, for one night.

Ernie Pugliese

PS (Not necessary to use V-Mail)
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