One hundred years ago today, July 5, 1918, Jay wrote to Rinda from Camp Devens, Mass. They’re leaving soon, they’re just waiting for the word but they know it will come soon.
It’s nice to see he’s happy with the position he has. I know he wanted to cook, to be a mess sergeant. Cooking and managing kitchens and hotels is what he did before the army. Its what he wanted.
I’ll be forever thankful he wasn’t put into the infantry. Even work as an engineer was dangerous as we will see in future posts.
Here’s his last letter home before going Over There. Actually…..there’ll be one more….remember, they’re waiting….and waiting….and waiting.
Dear Rinda & R –
This will undoubtedly be my last letter to you from the U.S. expected to be gone now but are still here all booked to leave at any moment or day. All we lack is orders from headquarters we belong to 76th Div. same as many other regiments do and the infantry regiments are all gone so we will soon follow our barracks is located upon the road running to station or a siding near there. Of course we don’t march through the city of Ayer at all.
Beautiful day here yesterday and we had more visitors from nearby cities. I remained at my work most all day and got along very well. We are now using new potatoes and they are fine.
I was made Sergeant last week but not mess sergeant yet because that is another advancement above another sergeant. So please address me as Sergeant Jay E. Shetler and you can write me here and it will be forwarded when we reach our destination.
I received 3 pkg by mail yesterday and I am sure they will come in very handy to me in near future. Sure feel awfully good about landing the good job and make me more than happy to know I can come back once more and be as good at figures and detail work as I once was. Have a young man helper doing some book work for me and I make up the bill of fares and look after everything in general. Have 5 cooks and 2 cook’s helpers. We have inspection every morning now that is physical inspection look at our total and month back etc.
I will bid you and Raymond good bye and God be with you. I will write to you again very soon. I am awfully busy this morning.
Bbl of love and good wishes. Love and kisses to you both good bye to you and U.S.A. for God know how long.