May 18, 1919 – Father & Mother


Puderbach, Germany, Sunday
May 18, 1919

Dear Father and Mother:

Will write a few lines in answer to your letter received a few days ago.

Glad to hear you have bought a ranch which makes me all the more anxious to get home and get to work again, but expect it will make me sweat for a few days as I haven’t done such work of that kind for two years. Also army life is inclined to make a man become lazy and shiftless aside from being always under discipline (which, of course, is necessary to make an army), but, nevertheless, unpleasant to endure by one who prefers to use his own mind and do his own thinking.

I have come to the conclusion long ago that I would much rather be a citizen by occupation than a soldier. So for me it’s out of the army as soon as Uncle Sam sees fit to turn me loose. I am at present an orderly (or assistant) on an ambulance and stationed with the 9th U.S. Infantry. Don’t have much to do, as there are not many fellows getting sick or hurt.

Don’t know how long I will be out here, but I have put in for a three day leave and will take a boat excursion up and down the Rhine. The crops here are looking fairly good. There have been a few warm days lately. Fall wheat is starting to head out along the Rhine.

I suppose Joe is home now. The last letter he wrote me was April 27th. National Soldiers Home, Virginia said he was leaving the next day for home. I would have liked to have gone home with him as we both left together. But of course my say so in the matter wouldn’t have cut much figure. But guess I will be home before many months, there are indications and rumors that we leave Germany in June. One order that I saw was for Company Commanders to have their men fully equipped with all articles of clothing before leaving for “Port of Embarkation.” And there are many other things that makes it look as if there was something in the wind. Everybody seems to think we are going, in fact that is all they talk about.

One of the main things I guess that is keeping us in Europe is the Atlantic Ocean.

Well, this will be all for this time so answer soon with love from your son,

Robert E. Schalles
1st Amb Co. 2nd Div.
American Expeditionary Forces
Army of Occupation, Germany