Lyman County, South Dakota  Genealogy

Jack Brookens Writes Interesting Letter  April 29, 1943

    Mr. and Mrs. Lester Brookens received the following letter from their son Jack from somewhere over there, under the date of March 31.
    Dear Mom and Dad:
    It has been longer than usual since I last wrote, but have been hoping to hear from you. Haven't received one from you for about two weeks. Got a letter from Max last night and it was written the 12th of this month. He told me about Homer and it made me feel pretty blue, but he may show up yet. Things like that happen. Don't let this worry you about me as it is as safe where I am now as it would be if I were home. Besides, the battles in this part of the world are a lot different than over there. So keep that chin up and keep smiling.
   Was glad to hear Bill was there to see you, just wish it could have been me. Some day I will be back, and all in one piece, too, so Mom don't you go making yourself sick by worrying.
    Won't be long now until spring comes. Wish I could be there to enjoy it. Our weather is still pretty hot with rain every now and then, but we don't mind it much because we are pretty much used to it now.
    We spent a couple of nights in camp playing Bingo at 10c a card with a five dollar prize and made enough money to start a canteen of our own and to also buy beer for the company. They got the beer last Saturday and each man had two quarts. It's been very little beer we've had since leaving the states and it sorta hit the spot. We have cookies, candy, gum, cigarettes and cigars at our canteen and also soda pop that is made here. One day we even had some genuine Coca Cola. A fella really misses those things when he can't get them.
    We have plenty to eat now. Lots of fresh vegetables, fruit and meat. It isn't like it was when you just had what was easiest to pack up the hills and sometimes nothing at all. You'd be surprised to see some of the things I eat now Mom. Fresh sliced cucumbers I eat right down. Can even eat onions on hamburgers and drink tomato juice. Have lots of bananas to eat. Right now I have a nice big bunch hanging right in front of me. I bought them the other day. Paid $1.00 for the whole bunch. Almost everyone has a bunch hanging around. Cost 15c a dozen at the store but you can buy a good sized bunch from 50c on up. We buy them a little green then eat them as they ripen.
     We have had watermelon a couple of times, but they aren't as good as the ones at home. One thing we don't have is fresh eggs, also fresh spuds. We have plenty of sugar and butter. Coffee is pretty scarce, but we have lots of cold drinks such as ice tea, lemonade, grapefruit juice, etc. So you can see we have good wholesome food and there isn't any danger of a guy going hungry. Also eat a lot of peanuts and they grow here, but they are much smaller than they have at home.
    Wish I could tell you about people here and how they live, but it would just be cut out. They get more strict on their censoring everyday. Max wanted me to write and tell him a lot of things, but it is impossible.
    Well I've rambled on long enough so will close. Hoping to hear from you soon. I'll do better, too. Just remember I am in perfect health and feeling in A-1 shape so don't worry a bit.  Lots of love, Jack.


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