To Ma And Da

September 1942
Dear Ma and Da,

Well, I thought that California and North Carolina were hot — all that weather feels like being back in Lawrence in the spring compared with this place! Boy! Seems like all I've done since I got here was sweat, get eaten by mosquitos (you wouldn't believe how many they got around here — and big! boy oh boy!), and alla that.

Sorry I didn't write for a little bit — we were busy at first once we got to here, and then, after that, the doc said I came down with something, which is related to the climate or maybe the water, but you shouldn't be worried, because all it did was make some time for me to nap and read funny books and just generally malinger and keep the doc busy.
Good news is that I'm off the sick billet, feeling awful good, and now I'm pulling my weight around here with the other guys. Just the other day there was some heavy lifting to be done, and boy, did I make myself useful. I know how ma can worry, but just ask da, mostly what we Marines do is just dig a lot of holes and then sit in the holes and find ways to pass time in the holes until somebody with some brass decides to tell us to go stand around and guard something. Ha ha!
And Da - now that I'm out here - it is almost exactly like you said - you were absolutely 100% right. Please make sure Ma doesn't worry too much, you know what I mean. And like I promised when I left, I make confession frequently (not that I have much to confess ha ha!), and go to chapel and even say my prayers twice a day, and I wear your St. Christopher metal next to my heart, so I'm on the right side of all that.
I read all of your letters at once when I was on the ship coming over and I was real glad to get them and I sure wouldn't mind getting some more of them. Did I tell you I was learning to play harmonica? I won it in a game of cards off this fellow from Oklahoma when we were getting shipped here and he has been a good sport about it and is awful keen on teaching me. I'm not half bad. (But like they say on the radio — not half good either ha ha!)
Would you maybe mind sending me some more funny books? The few I picked up back in Oakland have been passed around so many times now they're practically falling into pieces. A lot of the other guys also love them. (Especially the ones with Captain America. If he was here, we'd clean up these Japs pretty quick and probably be home by Christmas, if not thanks giving. But instead of him, we got the United States Marine Corps, which isn't a bad stand-in!) Even if we're out of here by the time you send them, I have good faith that the Corps will send them along to me, wherever I end up.

Love and hugs, from Florida,

your son, Pvt. Michael P. Sullivan, USMC

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