Reporter Sharon Schuler Kreps shares a private family letter.
GOOD HOPE – The following letter was written by my grandfather, Glenn Ray Reid, on July 2, 1941. He had just joined the Army and left for parts unknown to begin his boot camp training. The letter was written to his longtime sweetheart and future bride, Mavis Hendrix of Good Hope.
While most young men and women begin their military training right away, young Reid had to wait a little while to start his. Because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, his training was postponed and he spent a couple weeks in quarantine!
Even though Grandpa’s military career got off to a rough start, he kept his head up and was able to laugh during this hectic time. Not once did he let a little minor setback keep him from serving his country to the best of his ability. As a matter of fact, he served in both World War II and the Korean War. He turned his years of Army service into a fulfilling career.
Private Glenn R. Reid
5th Training Battalion
Camp Wheeler, GA
Yes, I’m in now. We left Miss. Sunday night and got here last night. Say, I had breakfast in Birmingham yesterday morning, supper in Mississippi, breakfast in Alabama and dinner in Georgia! Some going, eh?
Darling how is (yes you can write me now) Mr. Hendrix by now? I hope he is better and that everybody else is o.k. Tell him that Doctors is just about all I’ve seen so far so I should know how he feels in some ways. Ha!
We have taken a few shots already and “Drilled” this morning for a while. All that are in my Company are just like myself- Greenhorns, so if they make soldiers I believe I can. But Gosh! It’s hot!
Darling, Guess what? I’m in the “Guard House”. No really, I’m not kidding – I’m in for a week. Didn’t I promise to be a good boy and do what they told me to do? Well maybe I was too smart and knew too much – Ha! – Because I’m in the guard house now! Maybe I’d better explain. I’m really in the Guard House, but not for what I’ve done. On the train over here a fellow in the car next to ours had the mumps and from some reason – by mistake – we, instead of the ones in the same car, were put under quarantine and also in the guard house so we wouldn’t have a chance to be with the other boys. Yes, we will have to drill & train right on.
Now aren’t you proud of me? Ha! It really is a joke among us boys- being in the guard house. Most of us are from Alabama but only 3 are from Cullman. I saw a Brown boy from Fairview this morning that has been in the Army for about a year and is now a Sergeant. Maybe I can at best make a First Class Private – Ha!
Darling I like it alright but it lacks a whole lots being anyway near what I’ve been use to. (The bugle is now blowing for supper- I will write more later)
Hello, it’s me again. As I told you before we are under quarantine we have to eat out of our mess kits and use our canteens, which is very disagreeable – It all goes with the Army.
Mavis if I but wanted to I could find more d___ things wrong than a few but I have made up my mind to like it, someway or other. So that is just what I’m gonna do, it’s ok. I’m sure it is just me; however some of the boys don’t want to like it. Darling, keep your fingers crossed and wish me luck.
I am writing to Cit. and asking for a rewrite on my contract with them. How is the ole auto by now? Keep it in good shape because the first weekend I get off I want you to come see me. Ha! That would be just dandy wouldn’t it Darling?
Sweetheart I’m gonna stop and get someone to mail this for me. Be sure to write as soon and as often as possible and remember I love you.
All my Love,
P.S. I can’t even go to the post office I might take the mumps – Ha!
Major Glenn Ray Reid eventually retired from the Army. Later, he was a devoted member of the American Legion and VFW. He died on Oct. 23, 1985 at his home in Cullman at the age of 72.