[This letter ends the winter series about my dad's brief encounter with the army during World War II. He was already 38 when he was drafted, and apparently the training and usefulness of these older men was controversial, though I haven't been able to find much about it. Anyway, we'll let Vance tell us about his last days in the Medford, Oregon, area. The picture was taken by his cousin, Fay, who wanted a picture of him in "civvies."]
March 5, '43
I was discharged Tuesday afternoon and went into Medford and stayed the night with Grant and Ruth, coming on out here [to Jacksonville] the following afternoon. Yesterday Fay, Mavis, and I went up to the old Britt home and photo studio and saw their collection of antiques. The whole house is practically a museum. I played on the old Steinway square grand piano which dates back to 1876 and Pete says it came around the Horn. It is still in fine shape and the rosewood case is a beauty. We got a big kick out of the old glass and the old picture frames, etc.
I rather hated to leave the camp when it came right down to it. I had made one close friend, an awfully fine fellow from Pocatello, and we had both been in radio together. He is due to go out on the cadre sometime in the near future. Everyone wished me well and I wished they were getting out, too.
I am going to leave for Portland tonight on the 7:15 train. Would have taken the bus but my reduced fare certificate is only good on the train. We are supposed to arrive in Portland about 8 a.m. tomorrow. I will probably be there two or three days, then go to Raymond for about a week and on to Seattle to see Shirley if I think I can afford it. I was shorted on pay from what I expected [as I was allowed transportation only from Medford to South Bend instead of Quincy, CA, where I transferred.] All I can say is that I have been a bill of expense to the army and the army to me. I do have $10,000 insurance, however, which is one boon.
This afternoon Fay and I are going to look at the cemetery which they think will prove interesting and no doubt will. I got a few left-overs washed yesterday so have a spot of ironing to do. I wrote Lynn, Shirley, and Stanley but threw away Pearl's address when I cleaned house so could not tell her of my discharge.
As far as I know there are no strings attached as to where I shall work but I suppose I will locate in Portland.
My love to you, Vance
Back in the land of stamps again. I must be a civilian.