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326th Communication Reconnaissance Company
APO 301, SF, California
17 Apr 1953

Mrs. L. H. Oehlert
300 S. 8th St. Apt. 4
Fargo North Dakota

Dear Mrs. Oehlert:

I am in receipt of your letter of the 9th of April and the money order to the amount of twenty dollars therein enclosed. Thank you ever so such for it. I can hardly express the appreciation I personally, and the rest of the company feel toward your generosity and the generosity of so many other people back home in the U.S.

I truly appreciate your remark, "I am sorry to complicate your life even slightly in this matter by requesting a response,..." Believe me, I am truly grateful for all the aid people in the US are giving us, but oh, how I wish I could got someone who would help me with the correspondence end of the project. I spend about twenty to thirty hours a week on the correspondence relating to the orphanage. This is all off duty time. I am glad to do it. I thank God that he has given me the eyes to see how I can be of service to him, but oh how sleepy I get.

You can see why I appreciate your letter with it's insight into the situation over here. I am selfish though. I'm not doing this for nothing. I do get a reward for my work. Yesterday I got some pay. That pay was in watching the faces of these children as they were lined up to be given toys.

Boys and girls formed in two lines. They then were allowed up two at a time to where a goodly number of toys had been laid out on the ground. Each was allowed to choose but one toy. If a girl had a doll already she was not allowed to pick another but rather had to choose another kind of toy. The look of deliberation and concern on their faces while making this dramatic choice later to be replaced by a look of joy and contentment upon making the choice was well worth watching. There was my reward, seeing these children happy again. Whenever we have enough toys to go around we give them out. Sometimes in this manner they are given, sometimes at a holiday with the nurses already having chosen a toy for each child and labeled it for him.

Permit me to answer your questions at this time. Mail sent to me at my APO address needs to go through no customs, etc. It is the same as though I were in San Francisco. That is the reason that we ask people to send items to us rather than to the two American women who are in direct charge of the orphanage. Their APO privilege is for 1st class mail only and packages must go through international mail which is a lot more expensive for the donor and more liable to loss and damage. Since personnel come and go we recommend further that any packages sent be addressed to the Commanding Officer of the 326th Comm. Recon Co. APO 3010 etc. and marked FOR ORPHANAGE. In that case no matter who leaves or who takes over, the package will be sure to get to its destination.

As our needs are so great, I rarely try to itemize just what we need. Almost anything that is sent can be used. I have not seen just how much of my letter George Grim used in his column but your letter indicates that he pretty well covered the topic.

Again, allow me to thank you for your kind aid. The children would say "Ko Map Sum Ni Da" which in English is Thank You. We mean it.

I am always at your service ready to answer any further questions you may have.


George F. Drake
Cpl. RA 12344689
Corr Secty Orph Comm.



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