May
2012

US Naval Training Station Great Lakes Armed Guard School, May 5, 1918

Armed Guard School
May 5, 1918

Well, I haven’t rec’d a letter from you for a week but I guess there will be one for me at the Range when I go over today. Here’s hoping so anyway. I rate liberty today. Guess I will go over to the Range for a while and then go up to Waukegan. Gee it seems like a year since I got a letter from you.

I am pretty sleepy today as I went to an Epworth League entertainment last night in Lake Bluff. It didn’t amount to much tho. Too darned slow. Sat around and played jackstraws and Flinch. We haven’t done very much over here so far. Tomorrow we go to the Range to practice with rifles. Then we have boat drill and learn all about 5 inch guns. In a month from now, I will be gone from here.

Say we have an instruction book that is sure encouraging. It says that a man is allowed a new outfit of clothes valued at $60 every time he loses his on account of the ship he is on sinking. It also says that an armed guard crew must stay on a ship even when it is sinking and everyone else is gone as to get the sub when it comes up to watch the ship sink. And a crew is not allowed to leave the ship as long as it is afloat. They are not allowed to take the boats till the ship has sunk.

I don’t know how they expect us to then. Cheering, isn’t it? Oh well, we should worry. I am willing to take the chances.

Anyway if I get sunk I will have the honor of being mentioned in dispatches, ha ha. Maybe even have my name in the paper.

We sure are having fine weather here now, nice and warm. I didn’t take my coat ashore last nite and was plenty warm.

Say if I ever roll out of my hammock over here they will be driving slow behind me. It is eight feet from the hammock to the deck. When I go to swing in I have to jump to grab the hammock to swing up by.

Gee but I will be glad when we go east. I want to get a look at England and France. I will soon get a chance to see what French and English girls look like but I know that they can’t compare with American girls. I, for one, will be mighty glad when the war is over and I can go home, at least for a while, where a certain American girl lives.

Say there is going to be a good play in Waukegan tonite, “Leave it to the Sailor Boy.” Won’t you come over and go with me? If my aeroplane wasn’t out of commission I would come over for you in it.

I sure do hate to have to hit the deck at 5 o’clock mornings here. Just as soon as two bells strikes we were that beautiful call reveille. Someone said that the devil was working overtime when he invented reveille and I sure believe it. I may not get out today. I didn’t wash my stripes and they may not pass inspection. I guess they will tho. If they don’t I will jump ship. Maybe I will go to church tonight I don’t know. I am afraid tho that twice at once is two often, aren’t you?

Tomorrow nite I try out for a place on the race boat team. Here’s hoping I make it as they don’t have to do any mess cooking.

Well it is 11 o’clock chow today so will have to “shake it up” a little. I must put on clean leggins and a clean hat. Will write again as soon as I get a letter from you.

Well all for today,
Yours as ever
Sylvan

This letter was posted with a May 29 letter. I wonder if it was simply misfiled (the letters are in their original envelopes, for the most part) or if Sylvan intentionally delayed sending it.

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