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Shipping Out
Written while in infantry training at Fort Meade, MD.

November 27, 1944
Anne Darling,
This is the hardest letter I've ever had to write. We received our shipping orders today. Practically every fellow I know of was on them, except the ones that were picked out for clerks. They didn't tell us when we would leave here or where we are going, but I'm pretty sure we leave tomorrow for a port of embarkation.

Gosh sweetheart, this is as hard for me to write as it is for you to take. That was such lousy news to hear after coming back from a very swell weekend. I'll never forget that weekend because it was such a great surprise for you darling. The chance of staying here in the states is getting slimmer and slimmer but there is still a chance.

On the other hand, sweetheart, I always feel that God is guiding my every move and He will show me the way. Sometimes I think leaving now is better because if I stayed in the states a while longer, I might be sent to the Pacific later after Germany is licked. Whereas, on the other hand, if I go over the other side, Germany is practically licked now and it is just a matter of time and it will be all over there. Then I'll be able to come home a lot sooner. I hope you know what I mean and am talking about. I have the utmost faith in God darling and He will help me in my every move to get me home sooner to you darling because we are so much in love with each other.

Some fellows that were in my platoon at Camp Croft just stopped in to say hello and goodbye. I've seen very few of the bunch from Croft. One of the fellows sleeps next to me and he is also shipping with me, so I'll have company anyway. The weather down here is terrible. It has been raining cats and dogs all day long. It started raining as the train pulled into Wilmington, Delaware last night. I got off at 4 o'clock and was in the barracks by 4:15, so I had a little over an hour of solid sleep.

We had the gas test today and also a lecture on military censorship, telling us what we can and cannot write about. The rest of the day was spent having our clothes checked again and again. As the joke goes, "Today the Russians gained 20 miles on the eastern front, The British held their own in Holland, while the Americans had three clothing checks." Ha ha!

I think I'll have time to write a long letter tomorrow if I have enough to write about, so I'll close this one for now sweetheart.

Loads of love and kisses. I remain,
Yours forever,

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Anne and Joe with grandparents.
While on Furlough
Holding Helen, Anne and Joe Jr. flank
Joe Jr.'s grandparents