May 12, 1918
As today is “Mother’s Day” I will write you a letter as every boy in the A.E.F. is doing. I hope this finds you feeling as well and happy as I am, although I am a long ways from home and expect someday to return to the good old U.S.A.
I have learned a good deal more than I expected since crossing the great pond, but am more the worse for it.
Things have changed quite a bit back in the States as I read in the papers of meatless, wheatless and heatless days they are having there. A good many of our days here are heatless, but we have plenty to eat, which shows that the folks back home are standing by the boys at the front.
I will tell you a whole lot more about France and what I have seen of the war when I come back. During our spare time we play games of different kinds which helps to pass the time.
With best wishes and lots of love, I remain your Son,
Robert E. Schalles, Pvt. M.D.
1st Amb Co. American E.F.
via New York
[the title of the book comes from this letter]