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Letters Home From WWI


From Dr. Thompson

     In a letter to W.A. Lindsay under date of sept. 6th, the dr. writes as follows:
     Just a line to let you know I am still in the land of the living. I would get homesick here if it were not for the fact that I am very busy. we have setting up excercises at 7 a.m., lectures from 8 to 9; from 9-12 is laboratory work; 12 to 1 lunch hour. Have to walk ten squares to lunch so it keeps us hustling to get back on time. We work until 4 p.m. and from that time until 5:30 drill or lectures. Dinner at 6 p.m. and from 7 to 11 p.m. am hard pressed reading for the next day's work. There is no loafing here. Some are leaving every day for base hospitals and many are going to France. I want to go to France.
     I like to get letters from my friends and will appreciate hearing from you at any time. This is the most scientific part of the entire medical corps and I feel honored to have been placed here. I got my pay check and mileage check today so am fixed for eating another month. After this is over and as soon as I am released I will hike west as fast as I can go. The preparation all through the east is for a long drawn out war and everything is being done on a large scale that we cannot appreciate.
     This is a city of about 200,000 near the sea coast and has many bathing resorts but I have not been out yet. May go out sunday, I was sick last Sunday from typhoid fever vaccination. Must quit and go to bed.
J.H. Thompson, 1106 Yale station, new Haven, Conn.

Wallowa County Reporter
Thursday September 26, 1918

John P. Tobin

     In a letter to Alex Young dated Sept. 12, Jack Tobin writes from France:
     I should have answered soon but we have been jumping around some and I never have much time. No doubt you will be surprised to hear from me after the story you have heard. I don't know where it came from but it isn't true yet. I am perfectly well and have never been sick or injured since coming over. Maybe by the time you get this I may be well shot up, tho I am not much worried over it. Many a better man than I is dying every day over here. If you were over here you could soon realize that this is no joke.
     You know I get the home paper from Wallowa county and also a Pendleton paper and from the way they talk the people are bound to have it over as soon as possible. Everything looks pretty favorable for us now. I would like very much to go back home for a short time, not that I am homesick, but just to see how the people are acting. Any man in France will tell you that he would rather be here than there while the war is on.
     The men of the A.E.F. certainly appreciate the efforts of the people at home that are made for us. Believe me, Alex, we certainly do get enough to eat, and we are going to sleep just as long as there is ground to sleep on, and so you see we can't want for more.
     Pvt. John P. Tobin, 30th Reg. Hdq. 1st Training Regt. U.S. Marines, A.E.F., AP.O. 727

Enterprise Record Chieftain
Thursday, October 17, 1918


     John P. Tobin, who is with the 5th regiment of Marines, in writing to his father under date of Nov. 5th says:
     Well, at last I have got around to write you once more. I have been very busy since I wrote you the last time. The last two months I have been jumping around on the line looking for a scrap and on Nov. 1st we got into a warm one and a half hour later I tried to stop a "whiz-bang" but I wasn't quite hard enough and it went right through. It shattered my right knee and sprinkled a couple more nearby spots, but I won't lose my leg.
     I don't know how the wound is classified, but you don't need to worry as you know you cannot kill me any sooner than you could a cat. I think though a soldier's life will be too fast for me after this. I have some high hopes of seeing the old town once more now. Austria has quit and that means the war will end soon. I don't think I can ever make any more 25 mile hikes now, so I won't see any active service, because the doctor says it will take a long time for me to patch up again.
     We are having some beautiful weather now. It rains once in awhile but it isn't cold. Today is fine; it makes me homesick. I can guess what kind of weather you are having. No doubt it has snowed already. If it didn't it is not Enterprise anymore. I must close now for I am getting tired. You needn't worry about me at all because I always come out.

Wallowa County Reporter
Thursday December 12, 1918


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