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Letter, February 11, 1919

[Letter on color stationery of the American Y.M.C.A. Received March 6, 1919.]

Feb 11 1919

Ettelbruck Lux.

My dear Cecil -

I rec. your letter today of Jan 22. & sure am glad you have finaly heard from me. My diary showed me where I was on date the letter was written. And I guess the card was sent from this town. I hope you get all the cards & letters Ive sent you while on our long hike and since.

But why sign your name with the prefix of "lonely friend." Gad - I hope you are not as lonely as I am over here - you with your studies, your home, and friends, your daily work, shows for recreation. and I suppose company - either boys or girls - which ever you choose - and lonely. I am going to ask you to explain - to the best of your ability just why you feel this way. As a good friend of yours I hope you will write and tell me all about it - if there is any particular reason for it.

I'll admit I am - lonely - homesick, disgusted - sarcastic - grouchy and any thing else along that line you would be of a mind to add. I am getting such a soured disposition here of late, that I imagine by the time I get home I will be rotten with contempt. Is it any wonder I can cuss so eloquent & fluently as I have mentioned before? I suppose you wonder how any one can play music & get any good out of it, feeling like this. Well music is one relief I have. It takes my mind, keeps my thots off the questions & subjects that are doing so much to sour me - but I am not occupied with my music always. Have been promoted to first trumpeter or second chair cornet. Harder work, but I enjoy it.

Well I see the fighting 86th Div have returned with honours - from the s.o.s. - and Chicago has accepted their returned - selected men with open arms & purses. But - having received them they are ready to quit. There are ones I notice - on the welcome committee who have resigned - & admitted that welcoming soldiers is an expensive & tiresome job. All that was intended to begin with was to welcome the one div. & they are ready to quit. It may be quite honourab[l]e to be kept over here - but any one is welcome to my share of the honour - if he can get over here & relieve me - & I know of hundreds & even thousands that look at it just as I do. They are boys who have fought & now they want to see their home. They have endured hardships & dangers & exposures to the elements that no one else know about. They are desirous of no more honour than having fought hard for the one great objective & having gained - now are willing & more than willing for the selected men of the country to be honoured by having a stay in the army of occupation. I refer to the selected men who remark about being so sorry they did not get across. And to many that got across only for a very short time. It looks like we will be along the last to come across & that means months yet.

By gad - if you can stop and reason these things out and then wonder why I am getting soured - Then some thing must be wrong with me & hundreds of others - equally as bad.

Y.M.C.A. girls are giving our band a party tonite and I think I will go - may do me a bit of good to meet some women might relieve my temper a bit.

So you will play for me until I get tired of hearing you. Well I wish I could be with you just that much - for realy I don't know how long it would take me to get tired of hearing you. And I will see to it that I have time to come down and hear you. And play - not for you - but with you. For you will have to do your part when I play - while I can listen to you - so I have one on you - havent I. I don't wish you could hear me so much as our band. For you would enjoy & appreciate it I know - while no one seems to give a darn around here if we play or not - for its an every day occurance. Well cheer up & don't get so disgusted as I am - with love to all - I am

Paul B Hendrickson Hdq. co. 129 Inf. A.E.F.

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February 1919