Edward J. Thomas - World War II

June 17 1945 Sunday

Dear Ed:

I don't know where this letter will find you. It has been so long
since I wrote that you could have moved to a new location a half dozen times.
However, wherever you are, this letter will catch up with you sometime.
Since I got your letter I have been in the same old rut. Am working at
Calship again. To clear up this point for you, I quit Calship as I told
you, and went to work in the Richfield oil refinery near here--worked there
four months, got a case of sodium fluride poisoning caused by welding with
stainless steel rod which has this chemical in the coating as a dioxidizer.
Quit there, was off for a couple of weeks, and went back to Calship.
Welded there a couple of months, became sick from the welding of galvanized steel pipe. I then quit the welding trade and adopted the sheet metal trade at which I am now working there.

The ship construction program is just about finished and I am expecting
to find myself a member of the unemployed fraternity within three months.
This idle period need be only as long as it takes to make my way to another
employment office as there is a great demand for men in the ship repair yards.

The return address on the envelope in which your Christmas card was
inclosed informs me that you are now a corporal. Permit me to extend my
happy congratulations. By this time tho, I expect you to have attained the
high rank of sergeant.

My mother tells me that my brother Arthur is in England with the Air Corps
doing office work. Harry is with the 3d Army in Germany.

Since you wrote, one phase of the war came to a happy conclusion and
the pickle pusses in Washington are howling calamity louder than ever. They
are warning that we are about to suffer a crushing defeat by the Nips and
lose the war and labor will be to blame for it, they say. These labor haters
insist that the laboring class needs drastic enslaving legislation in order
to save the nation from this iminent disaster. when they were inescapably
pinned down to the facts, they had to admit that such anti-labor laws might
boost the morale of the army. Confronted with facts, they no longer
scream about disastrously small production by labor, but whine and whimper
about the morale of the armed forces. In other words, they wanted anti-labor laws created in the heat of the war when it would be much easier than after the war. Such a law would have made it very easy to control labor
after the war. I honestly believe that such an anti-labor law as was
proposed, would have caused labor to go on a nation-wide strike, war or no
war. It is to our past president's discredit that he chose to back these
infamous attempts on the freedom of the people.

In your last letter there was some brief mention of the science of
spiritualism. This subject has been of considerable interest to me and I
have done much reading on it. I have had a persistent belief that our souls
and personalities survive after the death of our physical bodies. The reading
I have done has convinced me of this more than ever. It is inconceivable
to me that God, Nature, Creator or any other name you choose to give the
supreme force which controls the universe, would have created man and his
innumerable wonders to have them perish and sink into oblivion. I believe
there is some purpose to it all. There is nothing on earth that can be
destroyed. He can change its form as in burning a piece of wood. It is
merely changed to ashes of certain chemical qualities and gases of other
chemical characteristics. So it is with the natural force we call life,
which gives animation to our physical bodies, and that segment of the cosmic
consciousness which is within us. These two forces are eternal and indestructable.

I am also convinced of the logic of the doctrine of reincarnation. How
this conviction came to me is too long a story to tell here, but I will give a couple of reasons. Consider Christ's statement: "In my Father's house are many mansions." This to me, at least, means the many different stages in the development of our souls and personalities. Also, if you have a Bible available, look up Christ's parable of the talants. Don't you think this means that we are to develop those qualities with which we are born? Enough of that. I am no peacher, but a student of metaphysics. e more thing tho. I don't think that men's souls are sometimes born into animals bodies. That is silly superstition. Man is always progressing, not retrogressing.

After reading of the experiences same people have had on the Ouiji board,
my curiosity became sufficiently aroused to purchase one. Its action is
unique, but I think the pointer is moved by the arm muscles prompted by the
subconscious mind. One is not aware of consciously moving the thing, but it moves. In experiments I find that when another person and I hold the tips of the fingers very lightly, I can control the movements of the thing, altho I know the conscious mind does not activate the muscles. The pointer moves seemingly automatically to any letter I think of. We received only a meaningless jumble of letters and words. If something on the psychic plane of existence can control the subconscious mind of some people, then it may
be possible that communications can come from the beyond.

I have been wondering how you rate in the army point discharge system. I know of some men who have been in the army nearly four years and don't have the necessa.ry points. It seems a soldier must have either a large bevy of small children or have done a great deal of combat service to benefit by
the new system. I don't believe either Harry or Arthur have near enough
points for a discharge.

If you ever run across any advertising lauding Southern California weather
you may take it as a barefaced lie. We have had no summer for two years.
Those cold, clammy mornings with their high fogs have given me a sinus and
bronchial infection. In fact, those two ailments see to be the most prevalent
ones here. Even when the sun is shining there is a brisk, cold and penetrating wind which gives me the sniffles after a short exposure to it. I know I am going to move away from here when conditions become settled after the war. I can't do it now as it has been impossible to save any money due to frozen wages and inflationary prices. The housing situation, wherever one goes, is not encouraging, so I must stick it out here.

When you last mentioned it, you had sent your mink to some mink farm for safe keeping. I had been wondering how this arrangement works. Does the farm keep a certain percentage of the young that are born? Or all of them?
Or do you pay for their keep. It seems to me that if you get some of the
young which are born you should have a sizable start in the business when you return home to stay.

That's all for now. Hope this finds you still in the U.S., preferably near Southern California.

So Long,

21838 Embassy Ave.
Long Beach 6, California

Tues. Jun 19 finds Britian and Indian troops enter Thailand from Burma.

Fri. Jun 22 Okinawa is completely captured by the United States Tenth Army.

Who Wants to be Discharged From the Army?

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