This is the twenty-fourth of 87 letters exchanged during World War II between Nicholas Salvatore and Elizabeth Galloway.
For more see Nicholas and Elizabeth.

Bugler at Monte Cassino

March 4, 1944

Celebration in the midst of chaos

Dear Elizabeth,

Yesterday I made the mistake of mentioning that it was my birthday. I’m 20. When I was growing up I never believed I’d make it to 18. Not for any good reason, I was just convinced I wouldn’t make it that far. In a sense I feel like everything after that has been bonus time. Anyway, word soon got out and a bottle was produced and handed around. Someone made an impromptu “cake” out of rations (it was…something). I barely know or talk to the guys who did it, and I know it was an excuse to cut loose and break up the monotony, but even knowing all that, it was nice to be the center of attention. I’ve never felt that before. Well, not for anything positive that is. And all it took was a war with the potential to destroy civilization as we know it – ha.

The only thing that’s made me feel better than I did last night was getting a letter from you. Nothing can top that. Keep ’em coming.

– Nicholas

Next letter – March 12, 1944