Dear Mum & Dad,
I am very well, I hope you are too. Tell big brothers Sean, Paddy and Mick that the Army is better than working on the farm; tell them to get into the Army quick before the jobs
are all gone.
I was a bit slow settling down at first because you don't get out of bed until 6am, but I got used to it and I like sleeping in now. All you do before breakfast is make your bed, shine your boots and clean your uniform. No cows to milk, no calves to feed, no feed to stack, nothing. Men must shave, but it’s not too bad because there's hot water and a light to see what you’re doing. For breakfast there’s cereal, fruit and eggs but there's no fillet steaks or sausages. You don't get fed again until noon, and by that time all the city boys are buggered because we've been on a 'route march', which is just like walking to the well in the meadow.
This will kill Sean and Paddy with laughter but I keep getting medals for shooting!! I don’t know why because the bull’s-eye is as big as a bloody bull's head and it doesn't move and it’s not firing back at you like the Murphy’s did when our bull got their cow in calf before the Ballina show. All you have to do is make yourself comfortable and hit the target - piece of piss. You don't even load your own cartridges – they come in boxes and you don't have to steady yourself against the roll bar of the tractor when you reload. Sometimes we wrestle with the city boys and I have to be very careful because they break easy - it's not like fighting with Sean, Paddy, Mick and all the other local fellas all at once like we do.
Turns out I'm not a bad boxer either; it looks like I'm the best the platoon's got. I've only been beaten once by this guy from Dublin - he's 6 foot 8 and 120 kilos so he’s a good bit bigger than me but I fought to the end.
I can't complain about the Army - tell the boys to get in quick before word gets out how good it is.
Your loving daughter,