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M.T.C. School No. 1, A.P.O. 772 American E.F. Decize- France- October 2nd 1918 Mother dear- It isn't so worse. The school is located in a very interesting town and our work is not at all hard, although the hours are pretty long. As an "instructor in convoy" - well - it's not particularly interesting, but I guess I know that end better than the other work. If it's a life time job (as it seems to be) I'm apt to become discontented - something unusual! You have probably remarked in last weeks' that the idea did not appeal to me particularly; the situation has not changed at all - but I'm growing used to be-
ing back in civil life again. We won't even know there's a war going on - but that doesn't matter so as it goes on. Some of the queerest situations arise. We are instructors to the class of officers as well as to the officers and non-coms-to-be. They range from 2nd lieutenants to the gold leafed major, and at times the result is embarassing to say the least. Imagine me - former acting sergeant, now private premiere classe - informing a captain or a lieutenant that smoking is not at all good form - or telling some gray-haired officer (who probably eat em alive like me in his own outfit) to get on the right
side of the road! I take a rather keen delight in giving some of these first class sergeants and those rare $96 a month creatures known as Q.M. Segt. Senior grade a cussing out, but my appetite isn't quite so healthy with officers. We instructors have the privelege of crashing up to the head of our 800 deep mess line. One husky sergeant, with more stripes than my fondest dreams have ever held inquired quite audibly - to "how I got that way" - all I did was to ask quietly "And what is your name" and got away with it, but may be never know the fear and trembling back of the question! One thing nice - It may be
possible to obtain a leave of a few days sometimes and visit Harvey. We are now not so horribly far apart. Haven't heard from either Harvey or Ramsey for a long time. That may be due to the many changes that have occured - as regards my residing place. At last it has become permanent; all too much so. I'm so dog-gone disgusted - - but I wrote enough of that last week to last a while. Perhaps a commission might come through now, but I'll never believe it possible until they hand me a Sam Browne, a pair of bars and utter the fatal phrase - "I dub thee loot."
Still - the Colonel (bless his military soul!) has ordered us to apply for the things - so one never can tell. This living an officer life on private's pay is a little too much for the overworked pocket-book to stand - so I would just as soon they'd hurry up a bit. Oh my yes - the two big topics - I almost neglected them. You see, not being in the guerre any more - we have to manufacture excitement. This is the "one and only" these days. Number one. About twenty instructors will be sent back to the States for three months. There's the catch - Who and When?
And will the lucky ones get sergeants' warrants or will the long awaited commissions arrive? We have worn out hours and a good many steamers deciding the problem. One of the boys - I am sorrowful to state - is quite mad on the subject has ordered a complete officer's outfit and is rapidly becoming quite completely insane. It doesn't worry me at all (think I'm the only one) for I never was fortunate enough to have anything like that come my way. Number two - It is in the air
that the [fourragere] of the croix de guerre will be given to the Reserve for its excellent work. If so - which is highly improbable - I intend to wear it and would be intensely "stuck-up". The "[fourragere]" is a loop of green and yellow and worn over the left shoulder. It costs about fifty cents, but I would rather wear it than a Sam Browne belt any day. That's all wrong; a good thing like that couldn't happen. Not to Neddie. Am praying that my mail catches up to me soon - but really can't expect it to do so for a couple of months. I have only been here
a week - but will be an instructor (in the words of "Seventeen" - Ye Gods!) indefinitely. Once again - don't fail to use the new address. If letters go to the Reserve - it will be ages before I see them. The queerest sensation of all is to walk through a town all alight. I would laugh at the moon - only it isn't in sight. My love - as always - Ned. (I wish I had either a typewriter or a table on which to write)
From the service of James E. (Ned) Henschel, Co. B Reserve Mallet--French Army, American Field Service, Quartermaster Corps, General Hdgts., and Motor Transport Co. 831.
|Date||October 2, 1918|
|Year Range from||1918|
|Year Range to||1918|
Henschel, James (Ned) Edward
World War I