Saturday, April 2, 2011

Letters Home: "I'll kick her butt when I get home and I mean it."

US military scrip from the era

April 3, 1953

Dear Mom, Dad and all,

It's raining over here today and I am on guard. I have to check all the trip tickets of all the jeeps and trucks that leave the motorpool. I'm in a shack so I'm not getting wet.
Last Sat. I had to take a Lt. to Frankfurt for the payroll. I had to help count it before we left the place. $8500 in script and $1500 in marks.[1] I guess I told you before we get paid in script and then can change that into German marks if we go off post. I haven't seen any American money for months. 
Bye the way how is my bankroll coming? I should have quite a bit by now.
You tell P. she had better settle down like a high school girl should and quit smoking or I'll kick her butt when I get home and I mean it.[2] I was going to write her a letter. She must have got in with some of that Muscoda bunch.[3]
The way things look now it will be about the 1st of Sept before I can leave here. Every month someone is going home and new guys are coming in. They all have been serving for 2 years.
How long does it take a letter like this to get to the states? It comes by German air mail and is suppose to take 3 days.

As ever, V.
[1] GI's were paid in military scrip which came in all denominations, even fractional dollars.

[2] P. is his younger sister, then about 16 years old. She is my aunt and the one who saw to it that I received these letters. link

[3] Muscoda (pronounced MUSS-co-day, i.e., stress on the first syllable) was a rival high school located about 20 miles south and across the Wisconsin River from Richland Center.


  1. This continues to be a wonderful series of posts.

    There is a show called "Army Wives" that is based on the military and the GI's are always calling and texting and skyping back home. It is what they do now. They will never have a series of letters like this.

    It's something we have lost and it is a shame.

  2. I wish my dad had saved the letters he got from his mother and siblings which would complete the correspondence. I have no recollection of him ever having saved letters while over there.

    It's something we have lost and it is a shame.

    Sibling dynamics like having an older brother watching over you from afar is another thing we're losing. Well I guess other cultures with large families still have it.