Letter, February 7, 1919
[Letter on color stationery of the American Y.M.C.A. Received February 27, 1919.]
Feb. 7, 1919
Dear father & mother -
Well I rec. the letter of Jan 13 today. Havent much time and
the room is very cold, but will write a little just the same.
Mother the two old - loving hearts at home can't look
forward to my home coming with any more longing than I do myself.
I feel I have so many more reasons for wanting to get back. In a
way I feel my future depends on my immediate return to study &
work. for I cant help but feel I've been thrown back 2 years now,
even with all the benifit I may gain from my experiences over
I am sure glad you have had the opportunity to take down one
of the stars. Here's hoping for a speedy removal of the other
one. Won't it be great - when we can - together - take it down.
It will mean as much to you no doubt as me - but I will explain
then why I think it will mean more to me and I'll bet you will
agree with me when I get thru with what I will have to say about
Well mother, it is not so cruel now to tell me about what
you have to eat as it was before we got our new mess sergeant.
For now we have all that we are supposed to get and have good
eats, well cooked but - its not so much what you have to eat or
how much or how well cooked it is - the one point of greatest
importance is who you are with & where you are. And "there is no
place like home - be it ever so humble." And we can play "Home
sweet home" now and with a greater feeling of appreciation than
we ever had before and I don't care what crowd of soldiers you
play for, the refined as well as the unrefined fellows, they show
their appreciation by cheering harder than any thing - most - we
I'll tell you mother, there is much I'll have to say to you.
there is much of importance I've learned and I'm sure you will
recognize it if we are ever together very long.
I've been made to realize much - and out in some dangerous
places, but what I'll have to talk of most will not be battle
stories. For every thing that can be said has already made its
appearance in print, things that have not been told, is the part
that words cannot express. For that you have to experience and
feel for your self or you will never know.
Was glad to hear again of Sis Fulton and I know how how she
cares for her family and home for I've had a little experience in
her home - and honestly I don't see how she has held up so long.
Was certainly to bad about Bro Boughard getting more serious
a wound in ever day work than I rec. in all my experience
fighting, where it was the sole aim of a class of people to put
such as myself in a far worse condition than he is in, and did
succeed in putting thousands there. Also, a person suffers more
from a wound when the excitement of battle is not there to
relieve you. I've seen men have thing done to them, & they not
bat an eye - when at home you would put them under the influence
of an anesthetic. That is when circumstances & places alter
So you think I will get the idea you are going to the bad
when I learn you are going to a show once in a while. Not so. I
am so glad to hear you are doing so. For I have learned many
things from pictures and have seen in my late "travels" some of
the subjects and can now - more than ever before - appreciate the
value of a good picture. I've seen many things in pictures I thot
to be exaggerated and never give it much thot, but I'll know
better how to judge from now on.
And any big production, is based on a subject of national
importance & generally of national discussion so you are bound to
learn something. You do not hesitate to read the papers on some
of the main features of the present condition of things and the
best film productions is a picturing of these very things. Only
of course in the line of a story. yet this is present just the
same. All these cheaper productions for entertainment can not be
classed in this line of pictures. I always aimed to see all the
best productions if possible - for they are really worth seeing.
I rec. a letter from Cecil today. She said she was feeling
pretty bum just at that time - I can say as much for myself right
now. Are having heavy snows and it is very cold. My cold is
I wrote to Uncle Alvin, sent some pictures of Vianden,
Colmarberg, & our band.
Well life is getting more monotonous every day. We are not
to be granted the privileges of a furlow any place. It gets so
disgusting and you feel so ill tempered at times that your only
relief is thru words - and believe me I can "cuss" as eloquent
and fluently as any person you ever listened to. My soul may see
the proverbial hell, but it hasn't any thing on this life. Hell
has lost it's horrors and no one has the power of speech great
enough to cause me to join church as an escape from such a place.
Will close for tonite & will admit I've chosen a poor
subject to close a letter with, but will write again soon & to
Dell & Guy too. Your loving son -
Paul B Hendrickson. Hdq. co 129 Inf. A.E.F.