April 8, 1918

American YMCA

ON ACTIVE SERVICE
with the
AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE
April 8th 1918

Dear Father:-

Your letter of March 5th recieved Yesterday. I wrote you a letter a few days ago but will write again to make sure you get one. We are now in service at the front. But haven’t had much to do so far. We have to stay out eight days and then get eight days off at our camp a little farther back from the lines. I am now out on my second time together with Joe[cousin] and several other men. We live in a dugout which is timbered up in side and has about 10 or 12 feet of dirt rock and steel rails on top to make it safe from shell fire and bombs. We have to take turns staying up at night to watch out for gas in case the Germans shoot it to us in the night. We have our gas masks allways at the alert and have learned to put them on quickly if the alarm is given. When out side we wear steel helmets for protection against shrapnel. Some times large shells burst near our dugout but one can hear them comeing if they are anyways near and have time to duck if a dugout or trench is handy which is generally the case. A few days ago I helped to bury three dead Germans, which is part of our owrk. It rains a good part of the time. On clear days we see a few air battles

[letter ends here--pages missing]

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