Munich Germany
March21. 1919
Dear Helen,
How do you denote a sigh? If you could have heard the one I just heaved
you wouldnít even want to receive this letter. I have just written Laura, Papa,
and Dids all about the same thing I admit but canít I draw you some funny
pictures or something. I hate to write the same thing to everyone especially
when I know that each of you will read the others letter but I canít think of
anything else to say. My head is just full of going home and there is no use in
trying to get anything else in it. I didnít think near so much about it until I
started to write those letters I think of how they must make you folks feel back
home. Now bear in mind that all these little things donít necessarily mean that
we are already to step on board a boat and be home immediately. But they do
mean that we are going to make a move in that direction in a short time. Our
post office closes Sunday. We start packing tomorrow. We turn in our trucks
Sunday. And it is said, though I think not officially, that we leave here on the
second of April. Now donít you think that sounds like business. It will probably
be a month before we really if indeed we do that soon. But you can feel
assured that it wonít be as some witty fellow has it in a joke.
It is supposed to be in the year 1940 when Gen. Pershing, who has
forgotten the Rainbow Division, and left it over here steps from his aeroplane
in a French and meets a soldier of the Rainbow who has long beard and wears
ragged O.D. clothes while his rifle and bayonet and just as rusty as can be. The
soldier fails to salute and the General asks What is the matter with you? Why
donít you salute an officer and why are your clothes in such an awful
The soldier just looks at him and answers ďPas compri? Meaning I donít
So you see I hope we wonít have to say hear so long that I will entirely
forgotten how to speak English though it is far from being real English now
mostly army slang.
Well I must close as it is way past taps. Give my love to everyone and
look for us when you see us.
Love, Jim
Wag. Lewis J. Matthews
165th Field Hospital
117th Sanitary Train
American E.F. -A.P.O. 715