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The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Letter from Carol Goddard to her Husband, August 1945

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Object ID: WV0283.4.014

Description: Goddard decided to complete a year’s service before getting out in order to receive veterans benefits, even though she has the option of leaving now. She describes the discharge policies in detail in addition to planning a hunting trip with her husband.

Creator: Caroline M. Case Goddard

Biographical Info: Carol M. Case Goddard served in the WAC from 1944-1945.

Collection: Carol Goddard 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:

[Aug 1945?]

Tuesday Afternoon - 1630

My own Darling:

I don't think I will have any more work to so this afternoon so can write you an addition to the note I mailed this noon. This machine will make it go faster, too. My pen is so scratchy, and the pencil is slow.

Yesterday afternoon they finally received the TWX that WACs 38 years of age or over can get our, without the full year of service. All that are getting out here are way over that in length of service, except Tiffy. She hasn't near the amount I have (not until January 1st) so she is doing her best to get out, though to date they are trying to hold her for at least 90 days. They can do that according to the WD Circular. (I read it myself.) But if she can get them to release her, she is not going to wait for the year of service, though with me it is different. I have learned that my year will be counted from September 30, 1944, the date of my enlistment, and that if I don't get out until then I will have advantages later on benefits, etc. (Francis told me that sometime ago, too, as everything seems to call for one year of service, or better, unless medical discharge.)

Now I have made a lot of investigations on my behalf, and learn that it takes approximately 1 1/2 to 2 weeks to get the papers through and the reservation made for the discharge. I also learned that I have to go to Ft. Sheridan instead of Camp McCoy, which suits me better, for that is just out of Chicago. WACs go there from this part of the country. Also, I was advised that it only takes 48 hours at the separation center. If I want to fulfill my year, then I will start my papers in time so that I can be on my way the last of September, so that I will be there about the 1st of October. They told me that these few that are putting theirs now will give me an idea of how long it will take, and I can judge accordingly, but they can give me a fair estimate that it will take 1 1/2 to 2 weeks, as they are going fast.

Now I knew what you said about the hunting season, so it looks to me as though this will work our just right, as it starts the 29th and continues for a long time.

Since they have dropped the year business of active duty for a discharge on the 40 age limit, the year of enlistment is all that is necessary should I want to profit by veterans benefits which specify a year in service. It will be on my discharge papers, I am advised, that it was a year of service. I would hate to have folks say that I couldn't stick it out for a few days more to complete a year since I am so close to it. I have always had a satisfied feeling about my FPHA work, I actually closed it up -- it was finished -- it gave me such a satisfaction. To state on my records should I ever work again (and I probably will for a little if it is agreeable with you as we discussed when home) that I served a year, not 11 months and 13 days, or something like that.

Then, too, here is another pointer. You want to go hunting down there. I made inquiry about my transportation and if I could go by car. I asked if I could be paid my fare instead of getting a travel request, and buy my own ticket. I was told that they would pay me 3¢ a mile to the Separation Center, and 5¢ a mile back. They would not pay it for a part of the way and a travel request part of the way, all one or the other.

I have it figured this way. You meet me here the day we decide we should start. I will have my things all ready from the time I put in my papers. We are usually told about three days before the date we have to leave here, sometimes more, so I could notify you exactly. Then you come, and we start from here, going through the BADLANDS as you wanted, and hunt a little on the way. If I hold off till the latter part of September for my application, then when we start our trip it can be in hunting season so we can take advantage of it enroute [sic]. (I will have that good old fry pan along so we can cook our supper somewheres, you may be sure. I will get a few things ready for that when I am home next time, etc.) Then I can go clear to Canton with you, and you leave the car there, and come on with me on the train, or remain there for a few days. I would like very much to have you come on to Chicago with me, and visit with me at Leland's and with Cousin Mary, and my Aunt in Zion. Anyway, I will have my way paid there and back, and service people have to pay only 1 1/2¢ a mile going and coming from the separation center, or it may be 1 1/4¢ a mile. (It is 1 ¼) (We'll split the difference.) Then when we or I return, we can visit with the Sundermans, and of course, Mother and Dad, go up to St. Cloud and see Edith, and then go back to Canton for more hunting, etc. and perhaps to Des Moines.

The money I will save by riding with you (& also the difference between 3¢ & 5¢ going and 1 ¼¢ - 1 ¾¢ & 3 ¾¢ per mile returning) will about pay your way to Chicago from Canton and back, or wherever we decide to leave the car. That way we will be together most of the time.

Meantime, I will be home these several weekends as usual and will get things in readiness to leave for a while.

The way I look at it, we want to manouver [sic] so that we leave here about the 29th, the day the season starts so we can hunt as we go, but I don't want them to expect me until the 3rd or 4th. October should be a fine month to travel. Isn't that going to be grand, darling?

I have about 3 minutes before closing time.

Will you have hot water next Saturday night so I can so the washing, and hang out Sunday morning? You always do have hot water for your honey's bath, but I mean enough this time for that and all our dirty clothes, too. Also plenty of soap. I will wash that night, and clean the house then next morning, too, and get your clothes in shape, and the few civilian things I want to take in a bag. I will leave them with you or Leland, or somethweres [sic] on the trip.

Time to skoot, so bye for now.

I love you, honey, and it won't be long now till you will get much loving, so much you will probably beg for mercy. Ha ha. I am surely getting excited about it all.

You are one sweet husband, and if "I'd searched the whole world over," I could never have found a better; I mean that, truly, from the bottom of my heart. You are so understanding, so companionable, so sweet and lovable, no wonder it is hard to stop loving you. (like last Sat. eve.)

I got your card, and was delighted to hear of the rain.

What about the tomatoes? We will have had some, though before we leave.

Your sweetie,

Carol