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Letter, January 20, 1919

[Letter on color stationery of the American Y.M.C.A.]

Jan 20, 1919

Ettelbrück Luxemburg

Dear Mother

Rec your letter of Dec 21, and will write a few lines, and answer the letter if I have time. First - I am sending you a picture of our band. We are on the public sq. in this town - going thru our every day guard mount ceremony. Sanding in band formation. The big band stand we play in is just on to the right a bit, and in the centre of the square.

You will notice two of the men have blue dots directly under them, one a cornet player - no other than myself - the other a trombone player - Elmer Taylor of whom I wrote you before.

The fellows head, that seems to be most a part of my own - is my old sig. platoon sgt. cornet player too and was transferred to band same time I was.

Well Mother dear - I have been wondering if you rec the many cards of Viandere I sent to you in an envelope. Also sent some rolls which will be of very little importance to you except the one on Vianden, you may be able to get one of the families near you to translate it for your information more than I am able to tell off hand.

Also I sent a card home in the bunch which cousin Irene sent me. Not thinking what I was doing I let it go before I coppied the address so will you please send address back as I want to send her some cards from different places.

You will some time - no doubt - receive a box containing some small articles. It will be a long time coming as it is second class. But I want this all kept just as you receive it. Don't forget, I don't care to have them shown to any one before I get home, for I first intended bringing them, but made too much bother as am taking a chance on the mail getting them there sooner. Don't let any one of the coins get misplaced. You probly think me foolish. Well I care little any more about what others think of my conduct, so long as I live to satisfy my conscience.

Should I at any time send any other thing home I hope you will keep it for me as careful as I know you will do this. For there is no doubt but it will be a long time before we are sent home and I may run across a few more articles I want to keep and cannot safely carry with me.

Was glad to hear of clessie being down to see you. And will [or would] not have to say I am sorry I could not be there. Have not heard from him as yet tho. Does he seem the same as ever or is he getting older fast. I can't imagine him getting old tho.

I hope the flu is wiped out entirely by the time you rec this letter and that you are on your feet again. It's hard to have to be over here so far - apparently doing nothing - where your parents you know are getting old and not feeling the best ever - and your one ambition is to get back home to them. Patience - did I ever know the meaning of that word before I enlisted in the Army? I never had the least conception of what it ment. It is a continual wait your turn on every thing that is done and in a co. of nearly 400 you can begin to see the enormous meaning of the little word - not taking into consideration the many other places it comes in - one for instance - living days - weeks & months with the same men closer than any family for we are together always - you have to have patience with your fellow beings. who in return sometimes do as much for you. It's one thing after another and when I think how impatient I used to get over the most trivial thing - I have a good laugh - to my self.

Well mother you have it harder than I - for you have to be alone too much of the time, while I - well I complain because I can't have more time alone. I am now writing in a small room we were able to get for reading & writing for the bro's of the lodge and we appreciate our few minutes off here in the quiet where we can at least hear ourselves think.

Was glad to rec. clippings of ones I know & am interested in. Am sending one in return. by comparison you will see our yellow cross division does not rank so far down when actuall figures are given. Will write more as soon as I have time with love to all - your loving son

Paul B Hendrickson

Hdq. co. 129 Inf. A.E.F.

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January 1919