As yet I cannot give you any important news. During the first week we have had basic training. It is possible that we might be sent to another place after the first week here. As yet I cannot give you a mailing address; possibly in two weeks. Tomorrow we are going to receive our uniforms. The complete military wardrobe costs $170.00, which is naturally paid for by the government. After that, we are going to be given various psychological and intelligence tests, a complete physical, vaccinations, and who knows what else?
Food is available in abundance. The boys eat like horses and there is plenty left over for the pigs. I do not have to go hungry. At nine P.M. the lights are turned off.
I AM ALWAYS FINE.
(This letter was written in German and was translated by the author. Dieter is the name as it appears on his German birth certificate. While in junior high school in York City he adopted the name Peter because his classmates either could not pronounce his name correctly or made fun of it.)
My dear Ones – Mutti, Papa, Hellmut,
February 4, 1953
Today we had to get up at 4:30 in the morning. At first I was disoriented; I didn’t know where I was. Then suddenly I had a revelation. I am currently only an observer. Despite the outer circumstances, I shall remain strong on the inside. I am finding many opportunities for spiritual development, especially the opportunity to practice patience. We have had to stand in line a lot during the last couple of days. I carry Clay’s little booklet with me. I read a few lines and then meditate on what I read and try to follow the advice. The most important part of my life the army cannot control; my thoughts and my spiritual world. I serve my country, but concurrently and far more important is my commitment to serve in God’s army. The main thing is that He is satisfied with me.
February 5, 1953. Do not worry about me. That does not help me one bit. But I will never turn down thoughts that bless me. I feel more and more that the spiritual realm does not need to be influenced by the physical world. Today I experienced some beautiful hours. After tumultuous hours the clouds break apart and the sun appears.
Boy, oh boy, this is quite a life. Yesterday evening I went to the PX – Post Exchange. Hellmut can tell you what kind of a place that is. What goes on there has to be experienced; it cannot be explained. Beer and ice cream are the top favorites on the menu, and the Los Angeles smog cannot compete with the smoke that is created there. The conversations cannot be repeated. They are so putrid! I would not want to be that lost maiden amongst those boys. One can only feel sorry for the stomachs of the boys; they are bathed in beer and their lungs get smoked like bacon. In reality the whole scene should be viewed more like a play.
Today I had a nice experience with my wallet. I reached for it in my back pocket and it was not there. Worry? Who worries? It serves no purpose. There was still a remnant from my old worry nature. But then I realized that losing something was not a reality. Everything of value we carry on the inside. At first I wanted to write you and ask you to send me my U.C.L.A. combination lock. I wanted to put my electric razor in a safe place. Only a fool does such a thing. I’d rather share my things. That way no one will be jealous.
In a few weeks I will need the tube of sharpening compound and the brush to sharpen and clean my shaver. I will give you my address, but you cannot write me until I receive my permanent assignment. I will notify you immediately when that happens. At that time I will be in need of a shoeshine kit for brown shoes and a writing table with a thick cover because I use my backpack as a desk. Fifty dollars is all I am permitted to send you from my check until I have completed basic training. Those are the rules. If I have money left over above that amount, I will send it in a letter. My postcard to you was addressed to me because I did not show a return address.
I just want to mention that the chairs here have no backs to lean against. Now I have to learn to sit straight without the aid on a normal chair. But somehow I am adjusting and am schooled by necessity. I am eager to learn. The opportunities to learn are all around us. The desire and will to learn is paramount. Only after I fully comprehend Clay’s little booklet am I to buy another one. So many things we only learn partially and so little completely.
It is a joy for me to chat with you all. Aren’t things more colorful now that one of the birds has left the nest? In my thoughts I am sharing a glass of apple cider with you and say “to your health.” Is Hellmut a good boy and occasionally makes juice for everyone?
Please do not write until I tell you. It might create a problem for me if you do. It is 8:15 P.M. A few of the boys are already in bed, others are reading. A few are talking or writing like I am I meant to tell you, almost forgot, my wallet did not get lost.
Greetings to you from the one who loves you.
Friends, relatives and acquaintances are all included.
(This letter was translated from German. Hellmut is Dieter’s older brother)
My dear Mother, Papa, Hellmut,
February 7, 1953
I receive my first paycheck today – 17 dollars. On the 28th of February the next check is due. I will send you the money which I do not need. The first 15 dollars are for Hellmut. Next Monday I will receive my permanent assignment. Most likely I will stay here in Fort Ord for the first sixteen weeks or possibly less because I am a C.O. (Conscientious Objector). I will send you my mailing address as soon as I have it.
This afternoon we had a G.I. party; that means a thorough cleaning of our barracks. It is a lot of fun when everyone does a part of the job. Tomorrow I will be working in the kitchen. That’s where I feel at home.
Just now I am looking out the window. The fog has lifted. What do I see? – The ocean!
I want a friend to mail this letter for me and will therefore not start a long philosophical discourse. At the moment I am in no mood to do it. I must first store up some treasures. My barn is currently empty. After some more living and thinking my thoughts will be in gear again.
One thing I wish you all, the desire to always want to do the right thing.
Good-bye until we meet again.
Always in love,
Love to all at S.R. F. and everywhere else.
(Translated from German by the author)
Dear Mother, Papa, Hellmut,
February 9, 1953
For the first 8 to 9 weeks my address is:
During the next weeks this body must learn to subordinate itself in many ways. I view this as a good cure or exercise for the spirit. Nothing will harm me. I believe that I am under the protection of the Saints. I think about Yogananda often. Time will be at a premium during the next four weeks. But I will always have plenty of time to think about you.
Pvt. Peter Laue, U.S. 56192300
Fox Company, 63rd Infantry Regiment
For Ord, California
Please do not send a shoeshine kit.
(Translated from German by the author)
Thank you, dear Mother, for your help.
My dear Ones,
February 10, 1953
I only want to quickly share the news. “Just by chance” I saw the company lieutenant tonight. My “C.O.” (Conscientious Objector) classification was granted without any difficulty. The lieutenant said he will try to have me transferred to a more suitable division. Until that takes place I will do typing and office work for the lieutenant . Please thank Reverend Bernard for his help. I will write him as soon as possible. I have already offered a silent prayer of gratitude.
(Translated from German by the author)
My dear Mother, Papa, Hellmut,
February 12, 1953
The weather is wonderful today. No one can stop me from saturating my heart with sunshine. I am just in the process of getting some pills for my constipation. Maybe you could get me a natural remedy. The doctor also gave me a prescription for vitamins.
Please address mail just like my return address show on the card. It is uncertain how long I will be staying here. The lieutenant wants to move me somewhere else as soon as possible.
(Translated from German by the author)
My dear Mutti, my dear Papa, my dear Hellmut,
February 15, 1953
Oh yes, Mother said I should write in English if possible. I have no objections. I only wanted to keep my German alive; that is why I wrote in German. But why would you like me to write in English?
That was surely nice to receive such nice mail. You should have seen the faces of those boys who received mail today. Those faces shine so brightly. It was a pleasure to watch those boys. But you know how it is, not everyone got mail. And it was painful for me to hold four letters in my hand and the fellow next to me held none, or have a letter returned to him that was wrongly addressed. I try to share with others, but in this case I did not quite know how to go about it.
It is not sure what the next couple of weeks will hold in store for me. The office work that I was talking about did not come through yet, maybe it will, but again it might not. The officers tell me that in the army you can’t be sure what’s going to happen. You might hear some interesting things. I try to be awake and ready at all times. God is looking out for me as long as I behave.
He surely sent me a nice friend. This boy is to me what my own brother would be. He is very humble and says he is not ready for the spiritual path. But I think he is doing fine. He told me tonight that whenever my palate was itching, I should reach for one of his candy bars. He got a package with candy today and home-baked cookies are on the way. He told me that his things are mine too.
Oh, there are so many nice things to write about, time is a little short, but don’t ever think that I run out of material.
One of the cadre men let me write in his room, because lights are already out in the barrack. But he is ready to turn in too, so I will follow suit out of necessity.
But remember that I’ll always think of you. Give my regards and thanks to the rest of the bunch, Alice, Katherine, etc. Alice sent me a beautiful and sweet birthday card. Thank her please, but when I have time, I’ll write myself.
So long for now and good-night.
My dear Ones,
February 16, 1953
Who are those I love? Everyone, all, but especially those who have been thinking of me! You will understand that I can’t write all of you. That is why I want to include everyone in the letters I write. It makes me feel very warm to know that I have so many good friends.
The boys around here are all so nice, too. There is not one I don’t get along with. They sang happy birthday to me tonight. And then I opened the package. I tried to make everyone feel that each one was the one who got the package. That is really the only way. That is surely a nice package you prepared for your boy. It was just bubbling over with love. Each date, nut and raisin seems to have been accompanied with a special sweet thought. George’s letters touched my heart again. He knows how to do it. He has it in him; there is no doubt about it. Katherine, Lillian, Louise, Mrs. Schaefer, Alice, they were so sweet to send me birthday greetings. Please thank them all. I’ll be thinking of them and thank all of them in spirit.
I want to tell you also that air-mail gets here no sooner than the regular way.
Could you also send me a manual old razor we have flying around the house and a hair brush, an old one too. I need that stuff for a silly display for my footlocker.
I am going to be a busy beaver for the next couple of weeks. So don’t get alarmed if the mailman passes you by. This is a special treat for me tonight that I can write. Most of the boys went away to take a test. So the platoon leader made a few boys a present of a couple of free hours. Today the boys got some instructions in taking their rifle apart. I was sitting on the side thinking meanwhile of God. And I tried to let the spirit shine through me that the boys might realize that love is the most powerful weapon. George surely is right that one person in the light will ultimately drive away all the darkness. It is a powerful feeling to know that God is in back of you.
I have the feeling that one of our lieutenants is a wonderful man. I have not talked to him. But his face is calm and he is simple in his ways. There are many, many nice people all over; they are really all nice. It is our mistake if we don’t see and feel this. Thanks for all you love and – good night.
Could you send a few postcards when you have a chance? Thanks
My dear Ones,
February 21, 1953
It feels so good to be able to sit down and talk to you. All week we have been kept on the run, marching from one class to the next. Some physical exercises and a four mile hike yesterday were also included in the week’s activities. It’s been a long week in hours, but it passed quickly for me.
Our first line-up in the morning is at five o’clock; there is no sign of the approaching day at the first role call. The stars still reign in the sky, and it is very cold. Because brother “cold” was so severe this morning, I got much better acquainted with my dear older brother “the sun”. The sun spoke to me today. It is a beautiful sermon that he preaches. The sermon has made me so very happy. It has been a blessing in many ways already that I am here today. My better acquaintance with the sun is one of the many blessings.
I will try to tell you how I felt when brother “cold” was driven away by the kind sun. We marched to our first class about 7:15. I had gloves along, which was lucky for my little self. But my bigger self froze very much, because most of my friends’ had no gloves. In the higher self we are all one. And if my brother freezes, I freeze too. I was disappointed in myself for not lending the gloves to someone who was colder than I. That is one lesson that brother “cold” taught me.
It is a good that I write this down, for the lesson seems much more vivid to me now. And when the first rays of the sun said good morning to me and to my friends, I realized that the sun must be a great being. It sheds light and life and warmth on all beings from the highest to the lowest. And the blade of grass and my cold friends marching with me are equally eager to receive that light and life. There is no distinction made upon who that light shall shine.
And then I felt that we are really all made of those rays of light radiating from the sun. Everything from to top to bottom is made of the light of the sun. Every piece of wood, the clothes we wear, the food we eat; all of this is a condensed form of light. When I ate my food today, I got that feeling that it was actually transformed light and warmth of the sun. And when we stood at attention for a longer time today, the time today passed quickly.
We are told that in order to stand perfectly still and straight, we should fix our gaze on an object directly in front of us. That is what I always do now. I made out of this a beautiful meditation. I looked at the wooden cross of a window frame. I realized that the same light was necessary to grow the wood which also builds our body. I tried to realize that everything emanates from the same source.
There is no problem with the food either. My stomach is beginning to behave like a real gentleman. I think that the trouble was that I had practically no control over my eating habits before. I am beginning to learn. And you know, there is not a single person who condemns the way I eat. Some people notice the way I eat and silently approve when I tell them that I do not want to eat my little brothers.
The cooks are very nice to me. This morning we all got a delicious Sunkist orange for fruit. The two boys sitting next to me at the table did not want their fruit. You see, the Lord looks out for me. And another thing I experienced with our chow. Chow is the word for food in the army. When we lose our greed, then the pleasure of someone else is our pleasure too. When the boys eat their meal or a candy bar, I am sometimes able to enjoy it with them without eating it myself. It was a joy for me to share the contents of that wonderful package with the boys. Anyone who happens to be around joins in the party when I open the package. As of today there are only a few almonds left. My friends’ pleasure is mine too.
A package is ALWAYS welcome. Something in the line of what you sent is wonderful. Candy kisses would be wonderful too. I think the boys would really go for those. I also noticed today how a person becomes receptive to the needs of others if he does not want to do everything for the little self. When I sit at the table for a meal and someone asks for the butter, I usually respond pretty quickly. But those engrossed in their own meal usually don’t hear. So you can see how it is in little ways. This simple little sentence: “Pass me the butter, please,” has made me realize a great truth.
Another thing that I only saw tonight. Someone takes a big helping of something really delicious. No one sees it, he thinks. He does not realize that there is always someone watching and engraving all the things on a tablet. How plainly everything we do and the way we think is written on a person’s face I never realized until this evening.
I have not been able to see Mr. Inwood. I probably won’t see him until we get off restrictions, which is about four weeks from now. We are restricted in the company area for the first four weeks of basic.
I would have a chance to soak prunes, but with too much trouble connected with it. So if you should send me some, I would only make it a point to chew them well and eat them without greed.
Oh yes, you might like to know that I will be taking eight weeks of this basic and then have training in a medical unit. There is always plenty of room and time for change in the army; so don’t take that as too definite yet. That is, though, what is on the records. It would suit me fine.
I am also learning to be silent. We try not to waste food; why should we waste words. Words are energy, very powerful energy.
Thanks a lot for your two letters, Mother. Mail is a nice thing to get. The poem is tops. I love you all very much and wish you good night and best regards to all.
My dear Mother, Papa, Hellmut,
February 22, 1953
I forgot to answer your question about the letter from the Chaplain. So I’ll quickly add this post script to the letter I wrote last night. You do not have to do anything about the letter. The Chaplain only wants to call your attention to the fact that he will aid us if there should be a problem. I also wanted to mention that if there should be an emergency and you need me home, contact the local chapter of the Red Cross. They will verify the emergency and contact Fort Ord and have me sent home in a matter of hours. But it must be a real emergency.
I am feeling fine, the sun is shining high.
Your boy as always,
My dear Ones,
February 26, 1953
I am sitting in a large classroom together with three hundred other boys. They are all being instructed in the correct way of aiming a rifle. To be more specific, these instructions this morning cover information about right windage and elevation of an M-1 rifle. Almost everyone has a little notebook like I have in front of him and is busily taking down the valuable information presented by the instructor. But as I have no need to know these things about the rifle, I will write you a letter. My instructor would frown upon what I am doing. But I realize that if he would have understanding, he would say, “Peter, you are doing the right thing at present.” Therefore I act as if he had understanding already; because one day he will stand in the Light like the Great Ones.
It is about 8:00 A.M. now, my hands are defrosted, I have a comfortable chair to sit on, a square foot of space as a desk and good light. I have all I need to write you. And there is also a good advantage in writing, because it keeps wide awake. When I have to listen to my instructors, I often have to fight to stay awake. And you can imagine it is quite embarrassing to be tapped on the head by a cadre.
We have just had a ten minute break. The sun is warming the earth once more. It is a present to be able to stand in the sun for a few minutes and let the warm rays shine on your face. During the rest-period a friend walked up to me and asked how I was feeling. “Fine, I thank you,” was my answer. We exchanged a few words. One thought was exchanged and I would like to tell it to you.
We often do not know ourselves what is best for us. How many people would take a cold shower out of their own accord? Very few, I believe. But everyone enjoys the warm feeling which follows a cold shower.
I have been receiving some nice mail. It is surely nice to see my name circled on the mail call list. But my spirits remain the same whether there is mail or not. I only feel a little sad when some people go empty-handed. But that’s just the way it goes sometimes. Yesterday I silently listened to a friend who received only two letters from his wife since he is in the army. He was mad at his wife for writing so little and he told her so in a letter he wrote two days ago. But it was not for me to advise him that it was wrong to be mad. The law made him regret his mistake yesterday evening already. He received four letters from his wife in one bunch.
Two days ago – it was early in the morning right after I had eaten breakfast – I learned a lesson. These lessons are brought to me at unexpected times and in unexpected ways. I was just carrying my empty tray outside when the wind came and blew my napkin off the tray. I picked it up and someone else’s napkin too, but the wind blew it off again. “Should I let it go or pick it up again?” I thought. A little unwillingly I again picked up the napkin. And then I realized that no matter how many defeats we receive, no matter how many times we are blown over, God always picks us up again. Without hesitation He picks those up who have fallen. I will attempt to follow His example and not hesitate again about stooping over to pick up a napkin. If I don’t, someone else has to do it.
I would like to ask if you would like to hear about these experiences? To me they seem wonderful and I remember them very clearly. Talking about my daily classes, food, marching, and so on doesn’t seem very significant to me. But let me make a suggestion. If you would make a list of questions you would like me to answer, I would be happy to do so.
Thank you a lot for the dear letter I receive from you yesterday and for the enclosed letter of Beverly, Mrs. Kritzinger and the letter from Ella.
I am beginning to get a clearer understanding of how and why certain people feel and act in certain ways. All that I may humbly say is that many things are clearing up for me. But I would like to say once more today what I told Lillian about six weeks ago. I said to her, “I’ll bet you that in a couple of months from now I will look back on today and say, “How could I have been so ignorant?” The greatest mistake in my mind would be to say, “This is it! I have got it now.”
Meanwhile, my surroundings have changed considerably. I am sitting cross-legged in the grass. The birds are serenading in the bushes, a black ant is crawling over my leg, shells are exploding in the distance, and the sun is moving through a clear blue sky. You can tell George that I am in the same place from where I wrote him a letter yesterday.
You know, I just thought that a pocket pad equipped with a good pencil might be a handy thing to have around. I might get a break like this more often.
You have asked me how my days are filled? I will try to give you a general idea. However, each new day brings variety so that we cannot make the rule that, at 11:00 A.M. Peter is doing ten push-ups. At present we rise at 4:30 A.M. Hellmut, do you think you can get up that early? At five we have the first formation at which roll is taken. And you better not be A.W.O.L – Absent Without Official Leave. Then follows breakfast. We get a change between fruit or juice, always milk and coffee, often lots of eggs, dry cereal, pancakes, sausage, beans and frankfurters sometimes, usually bread also. That is the general idea.
After breakfast we clean our barracks and police the area for scraps of paper. At about 7:15 A.M. we move out for our first class. That is just about the time when you board your bus, Mother, and Hellmut has a quick bite of breakfast. And what does Papa do? Classes which include physical training last until 11:15 A.M. At 11:30 is chow; chow for a lot of wow, wows. You know what I mean: Wau, Waus. (A colloquial word for dogs in German)
At 12:30 P.M. we move out for afternoon classes. The classes usually include some practice in marching and manual of arms. When we have anything with a rifle, I am a spectator. And a very uninterested one, usually keeping my mind on the Higher things.
At 5:30 P.M. or later we have chow; chow again. I always get every time enough. Also, from 5:30 to 6:30 is mail call. At that time everyone picks up his mail at the mail room window. You can see a lot of smiles and hopeful faces around that area.
At 7:00 P.M. we usually have another formation. Sometimes there is marching in the evening yet. And until 9:30, when the lights go out, you are free to take care of your personal things like polishing shoes, cleaning rifles (Pvt. Peter Laue exempt), washing and sewing clothes, and writing letters. At 9:30 I am happy if I can turn in and rest. But in case we do not get our things done, we can work in the latrine until eleven.
Saturday evening and Sunday belongs to us for the greatest part. Such is life in boot camp. When I see you all personally, I’ll tell you about some of the extra things we do that add quite a bit of spice to army life. Like for example, changing our uniform in two minutes and still being on time in company formation.
My friend observed yesterday that I look better now than when I first came into the army. I feel good, and I have quite a healthy color. My cheeks look really rosy. The mirror told me so. Your boy is well provided for both by the armed forces and Higher Forces. I have a few rules which I try to follow when I eat. I ask God to bless the food. I try to sit erect, keeping in mind that I eat radiant energy of the sun whether the flour is bleached or the margarine is preserved and seeing to it that my neighbor gets enough butter and jelly and milk before I unload the food on my plate, while taking no more than I can eat safely and eating all the crumbs and also trying to realize that I am only engaged in a transitory and short-lived activity. This is only the beginning of another happy chapter of my life.
Your boy who took one unit too little. YES or NO?
(The author intentionally took one unit less than required by the draft board in order to be drafted before finishing college. A total of 15 semester units deferred students from the draft until they completed their college education.)
My dear Mother, Papa and Hellmut,
There is one thing I must tell you. It has been on my mind ever since I read a little verse in the little book which Clay gave me. This little verse has made a deep impression on me: “Better than a thousand meaningless words is one word of sense, which brings the hearer peace.” I have tried to follow this rule in oral language, and I may truthfully say that my friends and I have benefitted. And I feel that the same should hold true in written language. If I cannot bring you peace and joy of a more lasting nature, don’t you think that I should build up a little reservoir first? I think that one deep thought would be better than a travelogue. I remember a letter Mrs. Hatvani sent me. It was very short, only a few sentences, but it penetrated deep. She added one thought from Paramahansa Yogananda. Please let me know how you feel about this.
Clay’s little book is my constant companion and a real inspiration. I cannot get tired of reading the same verse over and over again.
Your boy – loves you.
My dear Ones in the little yellow house,
February 27, 1953
I am not tired anymore, but I surely was tired this afternoon. It is about 11:30 P.M. now. Yes, that was a hard fight around four o’clock to keep those eyelids in a raised position. But then I had an idea. The energizing exercises required too much energy, so I did not do them. But I took out the picture of the Masters and concentrated upon them. Slowly, like magic, I became rested again. And we even had a big cleaning party this evening, and I am still going strong.
I told the boys that after everything was cleaned, we would all celebrate by opening your wonderful box of candy. Yes, that package was a mighty nice thing. It is really nice to have a little something extra once in a while. The food is plentiful and good; but you know about that little sweet tooth most of us have. That box of dates was gone in no time flat and please don’t ask me what happened to the candy. And that letter made me feel very happy also because I felt that my mail has made you happy. That little letter is the direct cause of this one. Instead of sleeping and accomplishing nothing, I will guide my pen and mind to touch off a spark of joy in the little yellow house.
You know, today seemed like a hard day, but it was a good day. There is no sting of hardness left as I write you this letter. But there is a real joy in my heart; it is unconditional. I am sitting on the barrack floor, three hundred and fifty miles from the little yellow house, but joy has found me even here.
Today something from the Bible came to me flying through an open window. It is in the place where the Apostles speak about the beggar who ate the crumbs which fall from the rich man’s table. A wonderful meaning has revealed itself to me from behind these words. I realized the greatness of this beggar who was concerned about nourishing the bodies of others before he looked out for himself. He realized that only the One Great Life was sustained whenever anyone provided food for his boy. The beggar’s own life was so intimately connected with all life, that feeding others was like feeding himself.
I realize now that it takes a saint to understand the real meaning of a scripture. It was a joy to talk to you. I love to write you any time of the day or night. It is like sharing with someone. We get so very rich by sharing.
Good night to you in the little yellow house.
The paper is very nice; you have provided for me with much love again, dear Mother. And I know that Papa’s and Hellmut’s love was wrapped in the package also.
My dear Trio,
February 28, 1953
You even have time in the army to do anything. Anything you want to do bad enough. Writing the letter to you last night convinced me of this. But since I had a valid excuse for doing this, I slept twice as tight and twice as efficient last night.
My eyelids were getting awfully heavy just now and my motor was beginning to stall. The lights are out already and the majority of souls have slipped into the dream world. Suddenly, someone sneaks up to me. He has some cookies in his hand instead of a revolver. He says to me, “Peter, here is some fuel to keep you going.” That is the way it works around here. Besides the cookies, I was the recipient this evening of two candy bars, a piece of birthday cake and half a pint of orange juice. We are all our brother’s keeper. There is a wonderful spirit in our barrack, but I am sure it is the same all over. There is a lot of good in all people. You only have to touch a man in the right spot of his heart and speak to him gently. I never realized how much we are the maker of our own destiny.
It is wonderful to have everyone in the whole company on your side. Someone came to me tonight and said, “Peter, I have never met anyone like you. I cannot understand how you can be the way you are.” We must try to follow the Law in the smallest detail. Since a few meals I have tried to waste no crumb from my meals and also eat no more than is good for me. I am only a single person trying to waste no food. “What can a single person accomplish?” most people would ask. I found that the power of the individual coupled with the Divine Law is very powerful. What George told me about the one person in harmony with God being able to overcome a whole army of darkness is true.
Dear Hellmut, keep on plugging away until you have learned to like it wherever you stay. That is the only way. U.C.L.A. (University of California at Los Angeles) is tough; but you know that only with effort can you achieve. In the army you will get physical tempering, in school it is mental tempering. We should have both. The diamond will not sparkle unless polished on all sides.
My stomach is functioning very well. I took Aloe last night anyway. I have good results and am feeling fine. The boys here all love sweet things; candy they really eat too much. So, if you could include raisins in a package, I could make the boys happy and their stomachs glad. This second reason I am keeping secret, though. I am enclosing $30.00 of this month’s pay. Please use it for a worthy cause. What you decide to do with it will be all right with me.
The wind is blowing strong this evening. The wind is my brother, too. I am not very well acquainted with him as yet. He has tapped on the window and knocked at the door. One day I will have a face-to-face talk with him and not be scared anymore.
I am happy to know, dear Hellmut, that you have taken some of the reigns in the little yellow house. Could you send me a couple of three-cent stamps, please, Mother?
A good, good night to the trio and don’t forget to say hello to the Pontiac for me.
Your boy, Dieter