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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Jean Holdridge Reeves to parents, 1945

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Object ID: WV0383.4.010

Description: Jean Holdridge Reeves comments on her parents' move, swimming in the ocean, special food items, movies and social activities, the base, and Americans' resentment of the Australian soldiers.

Creator: Jean Holdridge Reeves

Biographical Info: Jean Holdridge Reeves (b. 1920) of Marion, Ohio, served in the Pacific as a member of the Red Cross from 1944 to 1946.

Collection: Jean Holdridge Reeves Papers

Rights: It is responsibility of the user to follow the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Materials are not to be reproduced in published works without written consent, and any use should credit Jackson Library, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Full Text:

By now you’re both exhausted from moving, I’m sure, and now wish you had a nice soft bed to live in for a couple days and recuperate. Where are you going to stay now in Atlantic? I hope that mother will do a little visiting in Illinois before starting the struggle of setting up again. Helen will be terribly disappointed if you don’t visit her and so will the friends in Bloomington.

I’ve been having so much fun swimming the last two afternoons. At first I didn’t like the salt water but it’s getting more to my taste now not mouth however. Today we had fun surprising Tom and Pat— first by wearing shorts and then by fixing a lunch to take along. With six fresh eggs— a gift to us— we made deviled eggs. Someone else got tomatoes for us a bit of bacon and we had sandwiches like you don’t often get. Oh yes, some fruitcake and fruit-juice from our canteens. Those little things make so much difference to everyone. These two fellows have been very wonderful to us and we enjoy going out with them more than anyone else so far.

Dou’s letter was very nice, wasn’t it? I hope to have some pictures to send all of you and there the boys can take them to school.

Mother did you send me a copy of the pictures you sent to Bettie and Kate? If so I never got them but would certainly like to laugh at them too. I will ask Bettie and Kate the next time I write. Bettie is in Biak now— moved from her last station but is still doing office work.

Please Mother. When you send food don’t send peanut butter or spam. Guess you know why. Those small cans of delicacies make such good snacks so when you get settled I’ll be waiting for some food.

I hope they didn’t get the article in the Atlantic paper as mixed up as that is the Marion Star. I was shocked to see my written up position when I’m only club worker but having a good time. Bettie and I have had lots of nice compliments on our work— it has been little but you know better than I what a difference a little cleaning and swabbing can do for a place. How many more white fellows come in and we are going to their units for mess and snacks after work. You must get out and know them to get them in for programs on evenings. You know the modern generation is a movie loving one and with movies at several theaters each night there is a lot of competition. The non-coms have their own club and various units have small clubs for their own private use. Of course there are no girls in there but it’s much to easier to go there where the club is in you own area.

We are down in the Civic Center— the city— with the P.O. across the street the PX and beauty parlor beside us ice plant and Provost marshal just around the corners. Next to the P.O. is the ARC office and I and E (Information and Education) and the message center. What a metropolis.

The news of Tee is very bad and I do hope by now that she and the baby are both out of danger. How is Uncle Tom? And did Aunt Lillie get better? Bad luck by the bushels. I shall be anxious to hear about the well in Mitchell too. Where is Edward?

Guess I’ll close as we are going to a party in the Australian area tonight. Not my idea but I suppose you must be nice to the Allies. I'm sorry that our boys resent them as they do but the trouble is that we allow them to use all of our facilities without that in return. That goes as far as Red Cross and recreational facilities anyway.

Love and Kisses, Jean