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Pulling Rank May 19, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People.

Continued from . . . Say CHEESE!

Shortly before Christmas, while stationed in Seoul, dad wrote his dad:

“Today is Friday the 13th.  No especially bad luck.  In fact, I was rather lucky.  This morning I was stopped by an M.P. for speeding (30 mph in a 15 mph zone).  I talked the M.P. out of any action he had in mind.”

Wikipedia ~ Army Jeep (in Public Domain)

In the same letter:

“Well about a third of my enlistment is up.  A year from now I will be home and am I looking forward to it.  No matter how good my job is, there are a lot of things you just can’t get in Korea or any other place in the army.”

“At least I have the benefit of being surrounded by some pretty intelligent guys.  Our conversation often leads to a discussion of good old college.  Most of us agree, however, that this experience in the army is a great benefit.  I don’t think any of us will ever be sorry for having been here and gained some knowledge of how some of the rest of the world lives.”

On December 17th:

“One week from tomorrow is Christmas.  The time is really going by.  I will be thinking of you on Christmas even though I can’t be home. I wish you all a Merry Christmas.  I sent some cards but I don’t know when they will get there because I sent them by free mail.”

On January 10th, 1947, he wrote his dad:

“I have received packages with magazines, 2 jars of cheese spread, a box of chocolates, and hard candy.  The large package took about 6 weeks to arrive.  I want to thank everyone who contributed to the packages.  And thanks for doing my Christmas shopping.  According to the letters I received, you did O.K.”

On January 12th, he wrote Margaret:

“I went to Inchon today and saw Healy and 4 other fellows that were in my hut during basic.  The weather was nice, but the roads were muddy.  The clay makes excellent material for mud pies.”

On January 17th, to his father:

“I am sending 16 photos I got back from the Korean Studios.  Perhaps they will give you an idea of what Korea is like.  I am spending quite a lot of money on photography but that is about the only thing that I can spend it on.  I’ll never be in Korea again and I want some good pictures to remember it by.  Even so, I plan to have Aunt Lucy all paid back by the time I get out of the army.”

Wikipedia ~ South Korea (in Public Domain)

On January 22nd, he wrote his dad to share some good news:

“Now don’t tell me any more that I don’t out rank you.  Today I was made sgt. so you had better keep quiet or I will pull my rank on you.  The promotion increases my pay to $120 a month, that’s what I like best.”

“Today is the Korean New Year’s Day.  All the Koreans are going around town in new clothes or clean ones if they can’t afford new ones.  We didn’t do much work at the office because the interpreters had the day off.”

On January 31st, he wrote:

“Tonight some of us agents are invited to the home of one of the officers for a beer party.  This is a lot different than most army outfits.  Rank doesn’t mean anything but more pay.  When I was in the infantry, so to speak, a captain seemed like quite a high officer.  Now I have no regard for rank.  They all seem the same.  The other day I was talking to two colonels and a major at the same time.”

“P.S.  Well the party last night went off pretty good.  A couple of fellows passed out, but nothing serious.  All in all everyone had a pretty good time.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Continued next Monday . . . Photography, Again?!




1. Pix Under the Oaks - May 19, 2014

So Nancy your Dad was really interested in photography. I like that. Did he keep that interest after his time in the military? CH would say the only time rank is important is when you are trying to make the next promotion to try to fatten up the old retirement check.. 😀 I think for the most part CH enjoyed his time in the military but after 25 years he was more than ready to get out and I was beyond joyous!!! Ready for next Monday… Photography, Again?!

nrhatch - May 19, 2014

Dad was very interested in photography throughout his life ~ he installed a dark room in our house so he could develop and enlarge his own prints; the walls of our finished basement had a gallery of his photos taken all around the world; and he had carousels and carousels of slides.

Dad enjoyed his time in the military but was anxious to get back to college. I feel the same about many experiences ~ glad I had them, wouldn’t want to repeat them.

2. Jill Weatherholt - May 19, 2014

Such great letters, Nancy! There’s a sense of appreciation and gratitude…very cool.
I’ll look forward to the photos!

nrhatch - May 19, 2014

Thanks for reading along, Jill. His enlistment is rolling right along, but I don’t blame him for being homesick.

3. colonialist - May 19, 2014

One wonders what a serious passing out would be?
Love the casual way he took the promotion – he liked more loot, though!

nrhatch - May 19, 2014

He did like the extra pay. The more money he earned . . . the more money he had for college.

The “but nothing serious” comment got me too. So nonchalant. As if people passed out around him every day.

4. jannatwrites - May 19, 2014

I had to chuckle at the pulling rank comment… but I think parent outranks any military designation 🙂

nrhatch - May 19, 2014

My dad always gave his dad respect ~ they genuinely liked each other. Always nice when parents and their offspring get along.

5. Behind the Story - May 20, 2014

It’s so precious to have these letters. Thank you for sharing them.

nrhatch - May 20, 2014

His description of the party, with guys passing out, seems so nonchalant for a young kid from rural Vermont. I wish I could have seen the reaction when that letter reached Hartland.

6. bluebee - May 23, 2014

Not bad pay at all for those times. I suspect a jolly good mud-pie fight was had by all on January 12th.

nrhatch - May 23, 2014

Money is relative ~ $120 a month wouldn’t go far these days, but back then, not bad.

Huzzah! Mud pie in your eye! 😎

7. Photography, Again?! | Spirit Lights The Way - May 26, 2014

[…] Continued from . . . Pulling Rank! […]

8. Say CHEESE! | Spirit Lights The Way - June 2, 2014

[…] Continued next Monday . . . Pulling Rank […]

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