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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: WV0383.4.022

Description: Reeves, who is still working on dolls for a wedding cake, explains the drop in patronage at the club and her concerns about the high ARC turnover rate in her area.

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: Dearest Folks,

How do you like this new pen. When I got out of the hospital yesterday here was a $9.75 Eversharp pen and a cigarette lighter waiting for me at the PX. Someday someone will get a present but I shall keep the pen for myself.

Enclosing some pictures which I hope you’ll enjoy. I’m especially fond of those native children. Wish I had an enlargement of it.

Did you happen to notice that article on page 3 about the writer’s club. Think there was another about a concert-party too that you might enjoy. That was in my last letter.

April 27

Going to work today. Went down a little yesterday and the day before so now I’ll go back full schedule again. Worked on the dolls for the wedding cake and have the little girl about done. The boy will be another problem. Everyone on the base seems to be excited about the affair and is rising to the occasion with something or other.

The next time you’re sending something, I can use some Fuller Brush tooth brushes and someone likes my hairbrush so well they want one if you can still get them.

Thank heavens I brought another house coat with me because my seersucker is about shot. So much perspiration, washing and then it wasn’t exactly new!

Business at the club is getting very slack and we can’t quite figure it out. Several conditions must enter into it. Lately there have been two big USO shows on the base with extra parties and entertainment for them. Several more units have opened clubs too and although they’re for non-com’s they usually invite the privates and corporals too. We used to play Bingo twice a week but have cut down to once because two other places are carrying on their own games. Naturally we are at a disadvantage, as far the men are concerned, because we don’t serve beer nor are they allowed to drink it in the club. I don’t condemn them for drinking it either, that is if they don’t take too much, because it does relax their nerves. It’s not like back home where they can have more recreational opportunities, their families and friends and the men do worry about their homes and conditions in general more than I had thought they would. Unlike forward areas we don’t see death often but the men do get news from other areas about their buddies. There has been only one death since we arrived and no place in the states could you have such a great number of persons with such a mortality rate.

I was shocked today to hear that there is a 100% turnover in ARC personnel now in this area. Many girls who are coming up from Australia aren’t used to the primitive ways of the islands, perhaps expected to move immediately to satin and plush in Manila and it just can’t be. Don’t believe there are any ARC girls left in Australia now, that is closed for leave and so is Hollandia now where we staged so people will again stay put until there is another leave area. Reports from the Philippines indicate that it is no paradise either. Probably will be pretty livable after cleaning up processes continue a few more months so I’m really not getting excited about going there as yet. We are pretty lucky here I think.

How are you— all settled now? Is Melisa back home now or still with Kay? I know you’ve all been too busy to write much but will be eagerly awaiting all developments.

Lovingly yours, Jean