Hammett writes to Army buddy "Gottlieb...your go sounds like a good one, but I don't think I'd trade places with you. All the good goes aren't in the States. For instance, I'm now running a post daily newspaper and make my own hours, which means I usually choose to work at night, and we have an eleven p.m. mess for night workers. And then again it's more than six months since I have (1) answered a rollcall...(2) been in a formation...(3) taken a step as in marching of any kind, (4) tied a necktie around my neck, (5) shined a shoe, (6) had anything inspected, (7) had a crease in any of my clothes, (8) had to bother about whether I was in uniform - we wear whatever we like...(9) paid more than a nickel for a pack of cigarettes, (10) had to look at anybody policing an area, (11) had a lights-out time, (12) had to make a bed...(13) had to bother about how my clothes were hung or what was piled on my shelf or on the floor around my bed, (14) -- but that ought to be enough to give you the idea. We salute and we do our work and that's about all the Army asks of us. The eating and drinking situation has eased up for me, but it would be pretty fine if we could have those evening assemblies of ours again...Oh, well, we'll probably get together again during our training period for the next war. My antique frame has held up pretty well so far--I guess I'm going to last the war out...." He signs in pencil, "Hammett." With typed envelope. The letter offers insight into Hammett's army life. He enlisted after Pearl Harbor and after the US Government dropped age requirements for enlistees.
Hammett was a veteran of World War I where he contracted Spanish flu and tuberculosis. He subsequently pulled strings in order to join up during World War II after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Hammett spent most of the war in the Aleutian Islands, where he edited a popular Army newspaper "The Adakian," from 1944 to 1945.
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