World War II
All rights retained by Bryant University
Headquarters, First Air Force
Mitchel Field, Long Island
Friday, 31 July, 1942
Bryant Service Club
Providence, Rhode Island
Thank all of you for the two flat-50 boxes of Camel cigarettes that I received from you last Monday, the 27th of July. This is the third time that you have sent me cigarettes I believe, and I certainly appreciate your kindness because I find myself smoking cigarettes a good deal these days.
However, instead of beating around the bush I may as well come to the point by saying that my conscience would be considerably eased, grateful though I am, if your generous actions towards me were redirected to one of the $50-a-month boys.
I hope that you will not misunderstand me or think me ungracious in making this suggestion. Nevertheless I do feel that my receiving cigarettes from you may prevent some Bryant alumnus who cannot as well afford to buy cigarettes from having anything at all to smoke, and I hate to think that my thoughtlessness in continuing to accept your gifts might deprive him of the pleasure of receiving them somewhere beyond the continental limits of the United States or at some station in the United States more distant from home than mine is at present.
I realize that many members of the Bryant Service Club must be foregoing pleasures and luxuries that they might otherwise enjoy if they were not contributing towards these pleasant surprise packages to Bryant alumni, whom they have never actually seen or known in person in many instances.
Your organization is most assuredly doing a great morale-building piece of work for all of us in military service, because there is nothing in the world quite like a remembrance from friends back home. It is so personal--I don’t know, it just makes a fellow feel that folks at home do care a little about where we all are, that they realize that our lives have been disrupted, and that we are all in this war together hoping and endeavoring eventually to make a better world and happier days for everyone.
Yours very truly,
Edward B. Williams, Jr.
Captain, Air Corps [Transcription ends]