By Cpl. John M. Holman
Gablingen, Germany -- 1952
Hampton Union, Thursday, January 3, 1952
Editor of the Union:
Webster defines "Mail" as "the conveyance of letters." That is putting it mildly to say the least. A letter from home is the solder's closest touch of what he left behind him. Let me tell you what Bill Mauldin says in his book "Up Front" about mail: "The mail is by far the most important reading matter that reaches soldiers' overseas. This has had so much publicity that if some people aren't writing regularly to their guys in the war, it's because they don't want to."
In the American Occupation Zone, Germany, soldiers stationed there have quite a bit mor time to write letters than those fighting in Korea. Granted, some of the fellows do sightsee in Europe without bothering to write. But they are the ones who are in the minority. Most fellows figure that if they don't write, they don't expect to receive letters.
Kate Smith used to say, "If you don't write, your're wrong." A lot of truth in that, too. That goes both ways for the soldier overseas as well as the folks at home.
If you were in an infantry unit, such as I am in, it is quite hard to write interesting letters. About the only things you can write about is where you are, what you're doing and about the country that you're stationed in.
Bill Mauldin further says, "A lot of people aren't very smart when they write to a soldier. They worry him or anger him in a hundred different ways which directly affects his efficiency and morale. A soldier's life revolves around his mail. When you write him, don't complain about the high price of meats or that you can't get a new automobile when you want one. He is probably walking from his camp to the nearest town when he is fortunate enough to get a pass.
And another thing. So what if the local paper is two or three weeks old when he gets it. He still reads it with as much enthusiasm as if he had bought it at the newsstand down town. The news is still there. Send it to him anyway. He'll be more than glad to receive it, I am sure.
I'm only speaking from a GI's point of view, but Mail Call means so much to me when I get a letter from my wife Connie, my mother or just the next door neighbor.
If YOU know a fellow in the service overseas, sit down and drop him or her a line or two, no matter how brief the letter is, it still will be a letter from back home and will bring enjoyment and pleasure to him when he hears his name called at Mail Call.
Remember, "IF YOU DON'T WRITE, YOU'RE WRONG!"