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Object Name Letter
Title Letter, Estella West to Margaret Louisa Irvine Riggs, June 3, 1943
Date June 3, 1943
Scope & Content Estella West, a member of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps stationed at Fort Des Moines in Iowa during World War II, wrote this letter to Margaret Louisa Irvine Riggs on June 3, 1943. Estella was from the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation where Mrs. Riggs served as a missionary and teacher at the Oahe Industrial School. Mrs. Riggs corresponded with all the Indian servicemen and women from the Cheyenne River reservation during World War II.


Transcription:

Ft. Des Moines
June 3rd, 1943

Dear Mrs. Riggs,
I certainly was glad to get your letter, I appreciated it very much. Getting letters sure makes a person happy, especially when your in a situation like this. You mailed your letter the 22nd of May, but I just got it the other day, your address was not quite correct. When the Sergeant says "mail call" they all rush to the day room and of course we don't expect a letter everyday, but it's kinda disappointing if your name is not called.
Mother use to talk about Miss Price but I never had the privilege of meeting her. I was in school and when I did come home she was gone.
This W.A.A.C. Corp reminds me of the days in 1926 and 27 when I first went to school in Pierre Indian School. That time the school was strict and every thing was just so. We use to drill and march to school and meals. Only the army has a more strict military discipline.
We had a play day about two weeks ago, celebrating the W.A.A.C.'s one years anniversary. You just ought to have seen it. 7,000 W.A.A.C.s in their green and white seersucker dresses tan anklets and white tennis oxfords out on the parade ground. They had the Garrison Flag up, it's a special day flag, it flew right above the tree tops and oh, it was big and beautiful. I felt like little bells were ringing inside of me, to see so many girls marching and flags passing by in the parade. I like the W.A.A.C's very much. I hope to stick to the finish.
We have two churches, one for the Protestants and one for the Catholics.
When I'm on breakfast and Supper shift I usually to go church. I finished my basic training almost five weeks ago and now I'm in Bakers & Cooks school. I have just ten more days to go. When I finish I don't know where they'll send me. About a month ago, they send 400 B & C girls to London. 500 to Hawaii, to do different jobs and I don't know how many to Africa.
W.A.A.C's are being sent out all over the United States and I hope they send me out soon as I get through with my schooling.
Ft. Des Moines is a beautiful place and a very large place too.
I know and met quite a few Indian girls since I've been here. Girls I went to school with. I meet all kinds of girls here.
I have the New Testament and thank you very much for the Gospel of St. John.
As ever a friend
Estella
Collection Riggs, Margaret Louisa Irvine Papers
Catalog Number 50010.10.L002