Here's a letter from Frank Von Arx to my uncle. Frank Von Arx was two months older than Ebner, He enlisted and took the train to Camp Grant on 12/12/1943, for basic training, same place Ebner would go in January. Most of Ebner's friends were training for the war, bonding a generation in shared experiences.
My grandmother's letters to her son were written in a foreign language—English. Lisi Gartz's schooling back in Austro-Hungary, before it became Romania after World War I, only went as far as the fourth grade, so even in her native tongue, spelling and grammar had never been mastered.
My uncle Frank Ebner Gartz was drafted into World War II on January 23, 1943. The next day he wrote from his new home at Camp Grant, near Rockford, Illinois. Until I found the letter below, I hadn't know where he had started his training. Here's how the first day in training was reported by a new inductee on his first day in camp.