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Monday, June 20, 2011

Letter to a Soldier: Lost Three Guards


I had forgotten about the time we had lost three guards at once and I was working so many hours that I couldn’t tell my head from my tail.

Would I trade now for then? Yeah, the economy was better.

25th June 2007
Dear (Soldier),

Well, we lost another guard, and another guard, and another guard. I didn’t get to know number two but the first man was a long time officer and the last was a big guy who was new. The older guard quit because they started messing with his overtime. They can’t get people and now I’m working ridiculous amounts of overtime. It seams as if they should leave well enough alone.

(The big guy) was terminated, really terminated, for scribbling on the guard shack. I’ve been working double time all week because of this. It’s worse than normal. I really hope that I get a reliable guard in the morning shift. Well, you play the hand your dealt.

(Your wife) called me the other day and we talked for two hours. We are getting on as old friends now. She is happy, or appears to be happy, with the way things are working out, and that is also good.

My writing has taken a dive this week. I’m just not feeling in much the mood for it lately. Yet the world doesn’t weight for moods. I was working on yet another short at work last night when I just felt so spent that I couldn’t go on. I propped myself up in a corner of the shack and spent most of the night in a half asleep half awake state.

My relief officer came half an hour early, but it was (the swing shift Guard). He has been in the United States for about two years and came early so that I could help him with his English. He’s a Pole. “I will never speak as you,” he keeps saying. I ended up leaving right on time and had to drop things off at the main gate, some paperwork, which my company had misplaced.

I have to say that the state of things is very discouraging. Then you have it worse then I so I shouldn’t complain. When I was at (the junior college) it seemed as if every time something came within my grasp it was pulled away. Now I wonder, having to stay late is a really big issue. I was thinking of taking three years more to get my degree yet now I just want to get out of security.

Anyway, my friend I hope all is well with you. I’m once again off to work. They haven’t told me yet, but I’m working a twelve again. At least I’m paid by the hour.

Peace and long life,

Richard Leland Neal