January 17, 1918

with the
Somewhere in France
January 17, 1918

Dear Father & all.

I will drop a few lines to let you know we arrived safe. Have been here some time. I wrote you two letters, but lost both of them before I got them mailed. The weather is not very cold here but quite damp. All of us are feeling fine. I can’t tell you much of our trip as the censor would not let it pass. The people here seem to be very friendly, although we can’t talk with them much. I have managed to pick up a few words of French. May learn to talk it someday.

There are two American newspapers published in Paris so we get fresh news from the U.S.

I have made an allotment of part of my pay to you. I also took out $10,000 of government insurance. It cost $6.60 per month. I wish you would pass this letter along to Elsie & Art [older brother]. Tell them I will write to them soon.

A good many of us got seasick on the way over (I for one), but got over it in a day or two. It seemed an awful long way across the ocean. We were mighty glad to see land. I think Columbus had his nerve to tackle it in a sailing vessel. This leaves Joe[cousin] and I both well.

Answer soon. Your Son,

Private, Robert E. Schalles
Ambulance Co. No. 1
via New York, N.Y.