Letter's Home . . .
at least my hands weren't blown off
Written by: Robert Sandell
Introduction and Commentary by: Alex Sandell

These letters begin at boot camp on January 4th, 1942. They end in Europe, after the war. All of them are written by my grandfather.  I'm hoping that by taking you all the way from boot camp to the frontline, and back home again, you'll be able to feel a small part of what it was like to be in the World War II.

I will be printing two or three of his letters a day. I will not edit anything. Please note that due to military restrictions, he was not able to say as much as he would have liked about being in battle. He was not even allowed to say where he was stationed. Only the country he was in.

I have also scanned some of his original writing and drawings, which I will place periodically throughout these pages. To me, this is the most meaningful update I have put onto The Juicy Cerebellum, and I would appreciate hearing any feedback that you may have.

Now, onto the letters . . .

Letter # 1

Jan. 4 '42
Pvt. Robt. S. Sandell
Co. "C", 328th Med. Bn.
US Army A. PO # 103
Camp Claiborne La.

Dear Marcy -

Just received your letter a few minutes ago at the noon mail call. As per your request for an immediate reply, I'm starting this letter 'for the 1:00 P.M. lineup whistle sounds. Sometimes they sound it a little sooner, so I gotta be ready to chuck this paper into my foot locker in a seconds notice.

Well Marcy, we generally finish our day's duties at 5:00. Evening mess at 6:00. Lights out at 9:00. Retreat at 5:45.

So you wanta know what kind of celebration I had at Christmas? Celebrated it, 16 hrs of it, in the kitchen. When you gotta do dishes & resent it, think of me last Christmas. There were over 200 people, including guests, for dinner. T'was quite a dinner all right. Far & away the best we've had before or since. They even had butter on the table! And we don't have a dishwashing machine either. I was the dishwasher. That was my Christmas cheer. Was just unlucky in getting K.P. then. But now I won't have it for a while.

This picture was the last of the letter I could find. The rest has been lost. The "Foot Locker & 'Easy Chair'" comment is possibly indicative of a future grandson's certain brand of cynical humor.

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1998 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. Title graphic created by Andrea and Alex Sandell.