23 OCT 1966

 Dear Mom and Dad and Grandmother and Tony and Linda and Nancy,

Well I'm doing just fine here at Ft. Gordon. I got one of the squad leader positions (sergeant) in my platoon. There are only 5 positions of rank a basic trainee can hold, and these are the four squad leaders and the platoon sergeant, so I was really proud to get the position out of 54 men. We are only "acting sergeants", but if we don't get replaced during basic, we will be automatically promoted from Private E-1 to Private E-2 at the end of basic, and given another leadership and possible promotion advance during our advanced individual training. The jump from E-1 to E-2 only means a $10 a month raise, but I'll get the chance to become an E-3, Private First Class and wear a stripe by the end of advanced individual training, and get about $30 a month more long before the rest of my platoon can hope to reach that rank.

I am also going to go to officer candidate school at the end of my advanced individual training, and then all this leadership experience is really going to help. After OCS I'll be an officer, a second lieutenant, with lots more money and a better job assignment.

So far, I like the Army and the leadership responsibilities I have been given. Basic isn't hard at all, in fact I caught more "hell" at school in the counter guerillas, than I'm getting here. It's not bad at all if you pay attention and do as you're told. I have it real good since I'm an acting sergeant, because I don't have to do KP or detail work. I have, on the other hand, many responsibilities as a sergeant, that the others don't have, but I like the challenge of it all. I have 12 men under me, and I am responsible for them and their actions. I have to assign them to details, give them push-ups for making mistakes, tell them who has what hours of guard duty each night, all night, account for them at all times, etc. But they are all real good guys and respect me very much. We have a platoon sergeant, who isn't very good, and they don't even listen to him, they do more for me than they do for him. I imagine they, the real platoon sergeants, will replace our bad sarge.

I hope that last letter didn't seem to bold, but I had only a few stolen seconds in which to write it, and didn't know when I would get any more free time. I keep pretty busy as a squad leader. I wish you would come down on Sunday, next Sunday preferably. If you do, let me know and bring some "real food" with you and about a gallon of tea. When you get to the Fort, just tell them my name Private E-1 Homer R. Steedly and D Company, 15 Battalion, 1st Training Brigade, 4th Platoon, and they'll give you a map showing you how to get here. Please send that money as soon as you can, cause I need some extra uniforms and equipment.

I am supposed to be in bed now, but I know the guard on duty real good, from my squad, so he let me stay up in the latrine to write this letter. I better go now, before I get us both caught and in trouble.

Bye for now,
Love,

Homer



P.S. Also written for all those who wrote me, but I didn't have time to answer (Aunt Ethel and Uncle Wesley and Aunt Ruby and Uncle Jim.


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