Letter, March 3, 1919
[Letter on color stationery
of the American Y.M.C.A. Received March 24, 1919.]
Mar 3 1919
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
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
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
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
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