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Letter, March 3, 1919

[Letter on color stationery of the American Y.M.C.A. Received March 24, 1919.]

Mar 3 1919

Ettelbruck Lux.

Dear father & Mother

I just sent today a letter I wrote while in the hospital - and will answer yours of Jan 28. Well - when I stepped in the door yesterday on my return from Echternach where I was 8 days - I was greeted with open arm[s] from the entire band - seemed like every one tried to grab my hand first. May be you think I did not appreciate this act of welcome to my home - the only one I have access to at present. God - it does one good to know your presence is appreciated amongst your fellow beings, and to the extent to call forth such a demonstration as that.

I had to leave so suddenly - they were playing for a horse show and did not know I was going until they returned & I was gone.

Elmer acted like he was tickled clear thru when I walked in, and said when he came back that evening & found I had left - he could hardly believe it. I had been apparantly so well - no one ever thot of me being sent to a hospital. He said he had missed me quite a bit and we have talked much to make up for lost time. One of the first things I was greeted with was my bunch of letters. This is generaly accepted as the most welcome sight to a soldiers eyes. They were a little uneasy - thot I may not get back to the band - as I was gone longer than had been expected.

I rehearsed today. Made my head ache. but that did not take the joy out of once again sitting in our "family circle" for rehearsal.

I let Elmer read the portion where you spoke of your appreciation for the influence his companionship has for me. It does him good to know if thru his influence any good has come of it. He is a natural teacher - he does it unconsiously - he is so interested himself in these subjects, he wants all to have the benifits derived thru such a knowledge. He thinks things out for him self and creates an interest in you to do as much for yourself.

After reading the portion I mentioned to you - he turned to me and said - your mother is a companion to you - isn't she? I told him you were. He said his mother, while she would do anything she could for them - enjoyed being with them and all, was not much to express it, and therefore was not the companion to him that he judged you were to me - from the way you wrote. Our conversation was longer but will not take space to tell more of it.

Don't get the idea from this letter we are not wanting to come home as much as before, but as we feel we will be home - possibly in the next couple or 3 months, we feel more satisfied, with something of a certainty to look forward to. In a few days we go on a leave so I guess this will be the last I can write for a few days. Maybe I will find time to write from where we go. I will send cards at least, and do all I can to write more.

With that good luck coming, I think time will go by pretty quick, and I am sure from now on we will be kept more or less on the move, that helps to interest you.

Mother - I thot I mentioned I was no longer a cpl. I told you I was going to do it, I am sure. I rank just as musician now. just a step lower in rank than corporal - but same pay.

I will get this letter off on todays mail and - I will probly send a helmet & some junk home, if I have time before we leave. Hoping you are all as well as I am : your loving son -

Paul B Hendrickson

Hdq. co. 129 Inf

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March 1919