ON ACTIVE SERVICE
AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE
April 8, 1918
Your letter of March 5th received 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 and several other men.
We live in a dugout which is timbered up inside and has about ten or twelve 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 always at the alert and have learned to put them on quickly if the alarm is given.
When outside we wear steel helmets for protection against shrapnel. Sometimes large shells burst near our dugout, but one can hear them coming 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 bury three dead Germans, which is part of our work. It rains a good part of the time. On clear days we see a few air battles
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