Excuse the fancy stationery but I don’t feel like looking for something better. Had four letters this evening from Dad, Phil, Pat and Dick, so I better write someone tonight.
It’s been hot and sultry today and the weather is continuing [to] dry. But we have a clean position away from road dust and noise. Today a little after noon the island was declared secure so the battle has officially ended although there probably are many Japs still running around in small bands. Two Japs came around last night but were quickly dealt with in final fashion. But to have the island secure is a relief and probably soon we will get some movies, some beer and a little rest. Suppose you have heard General Buckner was killed. It was a big surprise to me. Today up the road a ways, someone was blasting Jap caves and every so often a big bang blew up smoke and flame. Probably some Nips were found there. Civilian Okinawans and Japs are giving up in large numbers and yesterday a family of six were rounded up. They sat near the CP while waiting for a truck to take them to a civilian compound and I looked them over. The father had on a battered hat and a toon shirt and a loin cloth and leading his two little boys. As always the wife trudged behind carrying a very young baby on her back held up by a cloth bound around his seat and one around his neck. His head was lolled back, sound asleep. And a hold of her shirt was her oldest, a girl of four or five. They were very silent, and looked like they had always worked hard. Probably the wife could walk all day with her baby on her back. The father had a stub of a cigarette and when he wanted it lit he bowed many times and showed complete humility. Finally the truck came and they look[ed] a little scared and the children hung on to their mother. A Marine helped them in the truck and as they rode away the mother nursed her baby and the children clung to her in fright. Probably they felt for sure they would be killed. They are Japs but I thought how hopeless life must have looked to them. Probably they had all huddled in a cave every day for the last two months, thinking the world had exploded, and at the same time trying to hold their family together and keep the children safe and warm. But they will be better off now. How fortunate American civilians are.
Talk of demobilization still holds the conversational spotlight and at present I am optimistic. I think it will come in six months but it will seem to drag I know.
Had a package from Gram and Gramp yesterday – some playing cards and a bar of maple sugar. How I used to crave it as a boy and I still do. I will write them tomorrow – Gram is so sympathetic and sweet.
Well it’s getting pretty dusk so I better wind up. Hang on a little longer and soon we’ll be together for good.