|Orrie A. Tilleson|
|What our men on the far-flung battle fronts are thinking
and as well as what they are doing is of interest of all of us back
A letter from an Eau Claire man, Orrie A. Tilleson, to Harold Severson of the Northern States Power Company, with whom he formerly worked, gives us a glimpse into the life of a seaman in the Southwest Pacific, where so much is happening now.
Orrie Tilleson has the distinction of having served in both World Wars. He enlisted in World War I at the age of 17, while still in high school here. He returned from the war to complete his schooling. Tilleson is now a Storekeeper Second Class in the Navy. His wife lives in Eau Claire. They have no children. This is the letter sent V-mail:
When I got back here to the base, I found a letter from you. It makes a fellow feel mighty fine to know that his friends are still thinking of him, even though he doesn't have time to write to each and every one of them.
I know how many of you feel that perhaps you may not be doing enough to help the cause along and that you should jump into the actual hell. I don't feel that way about it. You fellows have just as much a part in it as we have over here in the hot season and, believe me, it has been that during the past few days!
I am still in one piece but am a little tired tonight. Have had several days and nights behind the sights aboard. Tonight I'm going to enjoy a full night's sleep, I hope. I would like to tell you more, but you know how it is.
But as I was saying, your place is right where you are, even though you may not think so. Any fellow with a wife and kids has a duty first to them, and the wheels of industry must be kept moving to keep us moving. For the life of me, I can't understand why Congress still is debating the question of drafting fathers into this mess. There still are plenty of young single men available and others who have no children who could drop the idea of getting rich at a time like this. I feel mighty proud that there are still some fellows who stick to their jobs where they are needed most, without any raise in their pay, with costs of everything going up sky high. That takes a lot of courage, too, while there is the temptation of so-called big money all around them.
After landing back here late today, I sat on terra-firma for a while and watched a couple of little lizards stalking some flies. There sure are plenty of both here. The little devils (the lizards) are a great help and you soon get to like them. I'd like to make friends with a couple to have handy when I take off my tin derby, and the dive bomber type fly tries to use my bald head for a landing field.
There are quite a few of our unit still back here. There are three of our mascots (dogs) which are a great help to the fellows when they are feeling a little low. One little fellow, a rat terrier, sure has been ridding the area of a lot of rats. He's no bigger than a good-sized rat himself. I'm wondering how my pooch is coming along back there.
Well, Harold, I guess I just have time to get a helmet full of water and wash up before that few hours of shut-eye. Here's hoping we will be getting together again soon.