Letter, May 6, 1919
[Letter on color stationery
of the American Red Cross.]
Paul B Hendrickson
Hdq. co. 129 Inf.
May 6 
My dear Cecil-
A day or so ago I rec. your letter of Apr 20. It came to me
while here in Brest. We arrived early Friday morn.
Today we are playing at the pier for departing troops. Ah -
that ocean looks inviting, with my loved ones & my future on the
other side and my back turned to the most horrible year of my
I never before had such a desire to cross a body of water.
There are some mighty big ships out there and are expecting
the Vaterland in any time now. So perhaps before very long I will
be over there where I wish so much to be.
Weather is generaly rainy here but today is beautiful, maybe
I think so for the beautiful & desirable thots the scene here
brings to my mind.
I am not crazy about a week of boat riding on a rough sea -
but its the means to an end and I've gone thru hell already and
can't imagine anything I wouldn't go thru to gain my objective -
That has made soldiers out of every one of us - and if I'm
not mistaken will be the making of better citizens than we would
ever have been otherwise.
The changes here in Brest, since I landed here - most a year
ago is almost unbelievable. A city here for American soldiers -
just outside of the city of Brest, capable of caring for a
population most as much as the city which is 85 000 and over 70
000 can be placed in the camp, not counting the army of workers
employed permanently there. System & organization seen in every
place you look. It is wonderful what U.S. has done and shown the
people over here that we could do. I hope & wish it were possible
to beat this letter home - with love - Paul B.