Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dear Folks, It Seems A Little Colder, November 1957, 38th Parallel Korea, Love, Robert

Pfc. Robert C. Patton

Dear Folks,

So far our basketball
team has won four games
and lost none. I haven't
being playing much, but
that doesn't make too much
difference to me. A lot
of the boys have college
experience. We stay in
a hutch together and just
practice basketball.
  As each day goes by it
becomes it seems a little
colder. It hasn't snowed
yet, but it sure has
been cold enough. I know
that I don't write about
much, but I am not
in France or Europe. Korea
was just only a couple years
ago in a war. There is nothing
to this place. All town and
villages are off limits. Black
market, dope, theft exist in
great numbers over here. These
people have been occupied
the last 50 years. Their
civilization is 4000 years old
but hasn't progressed one
year. Its just one mountain
after another. There isn't
to much to write about
you try to make the day
pass quickly and quietly. Just
counting them until you get
the hell out of the army.
Let me tell you how a
village looks like. It would
be what you would call
Ensley. The houses are made
of mud and straw. The
floors are just plain dirt.
You walk down a dirt
street, where army trucks
pass by and stir up clouds
of dust. In front of the
house there are ditches
which serve as sewers, they
have slimy muddy water
in them. You see dirty kids
playing around in them. The
Koreans have no running water,
no bathroom, nothing except
what the army does for them.
They didn't have roads until
we built them. You might
say what poor unfortunate
people these are. The slumiest
part of Birmingham is great
compared to a Korean town.
When you first see the way
they live you feel sorry for
them. But you began to
realize these people have been
living the same way for
4,000 years and I doubt
if they will live different
in another 4,000 years. But
my problem is not Korea,
just the army. I just let
the days go by as quick as
possible. I received the underwear.
I hope you got my money
order. You should have $250, I
have $150 saved here. I am going
to try to save at least $500
that should be enough effort.
                           Love Robert

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