July 18, 1918

Dear Ma,

There is very little happening here and consequently not much to write about. All four of us new fellows have been hanging around headquarters and going out with the fellows occasionally to learn the roads. I think I could say with confidence that I know them all by now.

Last night we had a big dinner for some Italian officers who were rather friendly and helped out the section, but who were leaving this section. At the same time, the chef read out the names of the men who had been cited for the Italian croix de guerre on account of this last offensive that we read about in the States just before I sailed. All the men who were with the section then received it, including Slade who is in this section. He is back at Milan just now pending a physical examination. The chef also expressed the hope that we would soon get some real front line posts and that there might as a result be some chance for us new men to win the croix de guerre or even the valor medal which is higher.

No letters have come yet from the states, but aside from that everything is all right. We go swimming every day in the Sile River and some nights after supper as it isn't dark till 9:30. We sure do sweat some during the day and take 20 grs. of quinine a day against malaria.

A bunch here were discussing what they would do when this service here was over. Personally, I came to the conclusion that if I could get into the French artillery school which trains one for a commission that I would like it a lot. You know how I like the French and if you heard some stories over here of boys who have tried to get into the American service and turned away almost insultingly, you wouldn't be inclined to try that. Also, artillery would be active service and would keep me busy at mathematics. I merely mention this so that you will get a chance to tell me what you think about it. Maybe by the time this reaches you, I will have another idea. Don't think that this is definite. It is merely a possibility.

I got within about 7 miles of Venice today and could see the spires and domes standing up above the plain. I just happened to be on that road today making a trip while it was really clear.

I hope all my letters get over 0.K. You might ask about sending small packages first class and magazines. Some more came in for some of the boys today, but I have had no word yet.

Hope to hear soon,