Peter and Rebekah Laue - 965 Cloud Cap Avenue - Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 USA

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Letters from a Soldier

Fort Ord, California
to Camp Pickett, Virginia
April 1953

My dear Ones, April 1, 1953

Just a quick note from the post office along with a money order. I received your dear letter written Sunday afternoon. Don’t you worry, Mother. The clouds will pass for all of us in time and the sun will appear to us more radiantly than ever. If I am not writing, I am thinking of you anyway. My mailbox has been filled very generously by my good friends. So, if it is not a letter from you, Mother, it is from a friend.

And even Unity Magazine gives me great joy. Yesterday I had a chance to read quite a bit in it. I’ll tell you more some other time. If you and Papa and Hellmut and I want to get the proper perspective on our daily activities, then let us always keep our eyes on the sun and the moon and the stars.

Your boy, always,
Peter Dieter

My dear Ones, April 2, 1953

I received your dear letters yesterday evening, my Papa. That diet must have really made an impression on you. It is going to be awfully hard for me to do anything while in the army. So I’ll just watch how you people are getting along.

I just wanted to let you know that it is not possible to be with you at Easter time. I don’t want you to hope and then be disappointed. I’ll let you know when I receive my first leave. Until I know, I will not build a dream house. I wish you all a happy, happy Easter. I am surely glad that Mr. Easter Rabbit is going to visit me soon. Maybe today already.

Your boy now and always,

My dear Papa, Mother and Brother Hellmut, April 2, 1953

Everyone is showering me with all kinds of wonderful gifts. There is a lesson to learn. It is not easy to learn in all cases – the fruitcake for example. But the idea we should always remember is to let the light flow through you. I must always remain a channel, never become a pool; even when it comes to the delivery of nuts from the Los Angeles Nuthouse, or cake or figs. It is tempting to hold on, but I will ask God to give me strength to remain in the “Divine Trend.” My locker is loaded with the most wonderful things to be found anywhere. I have enjoyed playing a little bit of Santa Claus tonight. It is a lot of fun. My stomach is not large enough to hold all the good things. All I can do is say, “Thank you so much!” to you and God.

Do you know who was waiting for me tonight as I came home from the field? My good friend and brother Leonard. He is a very dear brother of mine. One big smile lit my face when I saw him. He invited me to supper in his car. He had nice things and, on top of that, I had your wonderful packages to open. We had some of those delicious nuts and figs from your package. And, on top of your wonderful package, Leonard left me fruit and cookies, etc. I can feed the company now the healthful way. You are all so kind to me. When Leonard left, we were both two happy people. It was a joyous meeting and a joyous parting for we knew in spirit we are always together.

Your book also arrived this evening, dear Papa. It is very sweet of you to send it to me. I have very little room here, and it is a lot of trouble to go to the post office and mail anything home. The best thing is something that goes into my pocket, into my heart, and then can be thrown away. Please don’t send me anything to read anymore, except maybe an occasional prayer. I can always carry the Bhagavad-Gita, the New Testament or Clay’s little book along with me. You know that too much food is not good for you, even if it is of the best kind. Too much reading is not good either. Body and soul alike must have a chance to digest and rest.

Tonight I also received some books from Alice. She sent me poems written by Eleanor Smith. You see that I have to make a halt somewhere. Food I can share with the boys, but I doubt if I could find someone just now who would like to have the literature. I have to do a little pre-digesting before I can pass the wisdom of the books and pamphlets and poems to my brothers.

The chewing gum I received quite a little while ago, dear Mother. Forgive me if I did not thank you. And the card from the bank I have returned the next day after I received it. You will probably have it by now.

Please don’t count days until you expect to see me home. Let each day take care of itself. God knows best when the time should be. I would love to see you all soon, but I don’t want to interfere with the Divine Plan. He is the Divine Sculptor and I will try not to handicap Him in His work. Thank you all so very much for the Great Love which you hold in your heart for your boy.

Good night to you all and sleep well that you may have strength for the new day tomorrow.

Your boy,

April 5, 1953
My dear Mother and my dear Papa and my dear Hellmut,

It is a day before Easter and all over the land the bells are ringing. Can we hear the bells? Maybe we will if, in silence and reverence, we bow down to the blossoming flowers.

I will be thinking of you, especially tomorrow. I am planning to spend the afternoon (or at least the late afternoon and evening) with the Inwoods. This way I may enjoy the atmosphere of a friendly home.

Yesterday we marched across a bridge. Beneath it ran the State highway. Civilian cars were traveling on it. I thought for a minute, “There is the road to freedom.” But no sooner had I thought this than the little voice inside said very definitely, “The road to freedom is in yourself.”

It is time to fall out for the eight A.M. formation. I will hold you in my thoughts with love always.

Your boy,

April 5, 1953
My dear Mother and Papa and Brother Hellmut,

Once more a Sunday is drawing to a close. I am finally sitting down to write. There are many people I would like to visit; you are one of the many. I was so intent upon writing many letters today that God told me, “Peter, don’t be so anxious.” I realized that by being so eager in following up my idea of writing, I became unaware of the little deeds of kindness that I should do.

I spent the afternoon with the Inwoods and two old ladies. The rest of the evening, if God wills it so, I will be with you. And if time permits, with one other person. It was not according to my plan to sit with the two old ladies and have tea and cake, but I felt it would be the right thing to do.

I decided to sit together with the ladies and listen to their conversation when God gave me this thought: These two people are getting close to the great change of life, and here is an opportunity to become more fully aware that we all will someday stand in front of the gate to the other world.

The time I spent together with the ladies was not lost. I had two and a half hours of beautiful contemplation. I sat near to the fireplace again watching how God’s energy was released out of the wood. And I also looked out across the sea. I feel that I have gained strength during the afternoon. I also thought of Christ. So you can see that the afternoon was not lost.

I also split a little bit of wood for Mr. Inwood. I enjoyed that very much. With these little deeds of kindness true brotherhood will come to be.

Your candy, dear Mother, arrived yesterday at the Inwoods. They really enjoyed the gift. It was really something extra special for them. With great joy just now I hear the Inwoods offer the chocolate to some friends. The Inwoods seemed very much delighted about the beautiful gift-wrapping. Just now Mr. Inwood came over to me and put three different types of chocolates right next to me. That was really the extra special gift I was looking for.

I think you are just being very modest, my dear Mother, when you say that your letters don’t measure up to the standards. Your letters are so nice; I would not want them any different. They are just you, and that is what I like: You.

It is quite all right with me to let someone else enjoy Clay’s letter. That is what it is written for. The more people enjoy and learn from it, the better it is.

What should Harry send me? I think my first wish would be to have him send me his favorite poem or prayer. Maybe later on, when I am stationed somewhere else, I may ask him for some dates and raisins.

One little thing I want to tell you and then it will be time for Mrs. Inwood to take me back to the Fort. I decided to have breakfast this morning from the Easter package. I was a little worried that I would miss some good breakfast, but I said “no” and enjoyed your loving gift instead of the regular diet. When the boys came back from breakfast they told me what good food I missed: two bananas, cinnamon rolls, etc. Missing those two bananas upset me for a while. But then I had an idea which made me feel good inside. All lust disappeared. I thought, “Now someone else may enjoy those two bananas which did not go into my stomach.”

Dear Mother, thank you for your dear letters of April 1st and 2nd. They arrived yesterday. I read them after I had washed my clothes. They were like a dessert. Alice V. sent me the nicest letter ever. I love that “God bless you” every time.

How are the vegetables doing?

Your boy,

God bless you, too.

April 7, 1953
My dear Ones,

Thank you, dear Mother – and thank you, dear Papa, for your kind letters. They are always a joy to receive.

We are marching a lot up the hill and down on the other side. It is a lot of fun, especially with all the flowers blooming on the wayside.

A beautiful thing happened yesterday. I had been marching for many days with pains in my left heel. At the height of a strenuous march the pains suddenly vanished. And I also received new vitality as I was holding a Unity Weekly in my hand during the march.

I am thinking of you and thanking you for your great love.

Your boy,
Good night!

April 8, 1953
My dear Mother, my dear Papa, and dear Brother Hellmut,

I just received your dear letter from Monday night. I called for the letter at the mail window, returned to the barrack right away, went to bed, and no sooner was I lying still did I open your letter. It was very sweet of you to share with me the evening at the India House. Your letter is filled with the spirit of that evening.

Monday morning I had a nice little experience which I would like to tell you about. We have one boy in our platoon who is almost permanently active in the field of forensics. What he speaks about is beyond my field of comprehension. When we were riding out to our first class on Monday morning this boy was sitting close to me. I was trying to enjoy the beautiful morning spirit and was on the verge of asking my friend to be silent. But I kept silent just in time. Then the little voice within said: “Unless you can still the busy thoughts in your mind, do not ask others to be silent. Start with yourself.”

What happened to me with my foot on Monday certainly seemed like a miracle to me. I could hardly believe it when the pain disappeared so suddenly. And then I had the feeling that the whole Creation was like a great miracle. We take things so for granted; things which we do not even come close to understanding. Who understands the growing of the flowers or the rise and fall of the sap in the trees? These are the great mysteries of life about which we should ponder. To know the reason for these things would really be wonderful.

When I was marching home a few days ago, I happened to be marching in back of a boy who was continuously getting out of step. Everyone in the platoon was marching fine except that one boy. I tried my best not to notice it, but his heels got into my way and his shifting rhythm made me get out of step, too. I saw from this how a single person who is in front can lead many people astray. Luckily, I was marching in the rear so only two people were out of step. Therefore, it is important for us to choose our leaders and teachers with great care. We should rather follow principles and ideals than people.

Yesterday I also receive the Unity Weekly from you. During this time of my life Unity has a message for me. I enjoy reading it, but I cannot read too many. I would like to look at Papa’s diet book pretty soon, and I do not want to get mental constipation. So please don’t send me too much.

Now I would like to tell you something that I have especially reserved for the end. Today I received my orders for my next destination. On Wednesday the 15 of April, I will be leaving Fort Ord and going to Camp Pickett, Virginia. I have to be at Camp Pickett by 2400 hours, April the 19th. So, I have no extra time beside the traveling time. I will promise you that I will do everything possible to get a pass long enough to see you in Los Angeles. That means that you can expect to see me sometime between the time you receive a letter and next Tuesday. God knows best, and so I will ask Him to guide me and assist me. I am very happy about the way everything is turning out.

Let me say good-night to you for now. I hope to see you soon.

Your boy now and later in Camp Pickett, Virginia.

Love to you all,
Your Dieter

April 13, 1953
My dear Mutti, my dear Papa, my dear Hellmut,

There is no need for tears today. As the bus drove along the ocean, the ocean was calm. Only little ripples danced on the surface. My heart was calm like the ocean. Although more miles spread between you and me as the day wore on, my heart became filled with the ever greater assurance that we will become ever closer.

There are many hills between us but there is only one sky above us.

I rested in the bus so peacefully. I enjoyed the fruit and I will enjoy it for many days to come. In the morning I slept a gentle sleep. In the afternoon I felt so refreshed and strong that I let my eyes roam along the hilltops and the green meadows and blooming orchards. I also enjoyed reading in the S.R. F. magazine and memorized the Easter thought.

At five o’clock I arrived safely at Fort Ord. As I was walking towards my Company a little voice told me, “God is here, too.” Yes, He is. I looked at the flowers and they smiled at me. I met a friend and he was happy to see me. The day was a joyous day. There are not enough minutes in this hour to tell you about all the nice things that happened. So I will borrow some time from tomorrow to tell you about today. Before I can start washing, there are still free minutes I’ve just discovered. I started to enjoy some dates and raisins but I think I will enjoy even more to continue this letter. My stomach is so small, but the blank sheets are infinitely many.

You should have seen how many boys were happy to see me again. I was really touched to see how many boys had missed me.

It also just so happened that tonight we were going to have a G.I. cleaning party. The boys all told me, “Peter, you are leaving Wednesday so you don’t have to G.I. Go to a movie and enjoy yourself.” I did not go to a movie, but I started to write you. My better nature tempted me to help the boys, but I was not quite strong enough to be tempted.

I also went to another barrack to say hello to a friend. The person that I had in mind to see was not there. But there was someone else. The boy asked me to write everyone here and let them know how I was getting along. The boy said to me, “Peter, let me know when you are leaving and we will have a party for you.” We are really a happy family. When I stepped outside into the night the stars were really shining brightly. Tomorrow or the next day I can write another one.

Your boy now and always – here, in Virginia, in this world and the next also.

Your Dieter

When I was eating an apple today, I noticed that I had changed some. Twelve weeks ago I peeled my apples and neatly cut out the inside. Now I enjoy the whole apple. I remember when I was about six years old; I bet someone that I could eat the entire apple, stem and all. After fourteen years I am doing once again that which I did as a child.

May God bless you,

Your boy,

My dear Mother, Papa and Hellmut, April 13, 1953

There is a letter in the making for you. I will finish it tomorrow. Tonight I have planned to wash all my clothes yet so that they will be dry and spic-and-span for the trip.

I arrived happy and refreshed in body and spirit. My vacation with you, although seemingly short, has done me worlds of good. The sores on my finger are healing already. I lived almost exclusively on what I had in the traveling bag. Someone had put a little box of Wheaties in my locker, which I had with figs and nuts and other delicious things. The golden amulet and my dog tags were lying on my bed awaiting my return.


Your boy,

By Greyhound Bus to Camp Pickett, Virginia

Indio, California, April 16, 1953
Greetings from INDIO,

Your boy,

Peace and cheer!

My dear Ones, BLYTHE, California, April 16, 1953

Breakfast this morning comes out of your box. It tastes good and is good, too. A beautiful sunrise greeted me in the desert this morning. I am in Blythe right now but won’t be in a few minutes.

Your boy

My dear Ones, Wickenburg, Arizona, April 16 1953, 10 A.M

It is the above time now. We have a short rest stop, a short write stop. We have traveled 347 miles so far, am in Wickenburg, I think Arizona. The sun shines here, and the people are here like any other place in the world. If you look for nothing phenomenal, you will find joy in the beautiful desert stretching for many miles across the land.

Your pen is dear to me already.

Your boy

My good Pals, Globe, Arizona, April 16, 1953, 2:00 P.M. Thursday

I just finished the delicious orange juice. When I took the last few swallows I could surely taste Hellmut’s love.

The scenery is beautiful. Too beautiful for Peter’s small heart to really understand yet. But one day we will all understand.

Your boy

Next stop 180 miles from here.

My dear Mother, Papa and Hellmut, Lordsburg, New Mexico, April 16, 1953, 6:15 P.M

Six hundred fifty-nine miles we have traveled since I saw you last night. As we travel from one town to the next and one state to the other – despite boundary lines and different names of places – people and life is the same all over.

My bare feet are resting on the grass and soil. I am sitting in the evening breeze and evening shadow. A thrown-away water heater is my bench. The world seems peaceful from every vantage point. It has been a wonderful trip. The desert is not as barren as it might look. I have started to memorize “I Am Lonely No More” for I am beginning to see.

Your boy, always,

  VAN HORN, TEXAS, April 17, 1953 1:00 A.M. Friday

Hello to you from VAN HORN, TEXAS – Your boy

My dear Ones, Abilene, Texas, April 17, 1953, Friday, 8:15 A.M.

A most gentle breeze is blowing this morning, so refreshing. I have had a good night’s rest. No better rest could be had on either plane or train. It all depends on the attitude. If you say, “I am going to like the bus ride,” then you will like it. I lent my pillow to the soldier boy next to me and still was as comfortable as ever.

Your boy,

My dear Ones, Pecos, Texas, April 17, 1953, 3:00 A.M. Friday

It is time I had a delicious apple break. It’s an odd time to eat apples at 3 A. M., but they surely taste good any time of the day or night.

Your boy

We are all rolling along like joy old fellows, sleeping and eating and singing.

My dear Ones, Abilene, Texas, April 17, 1953, Friday, 8:15 A.M.

A most gentle breeze is blowing this morning, so refreshing. I have had a good night’s rest. No better rest could be had on either plane or train. It all depends on the attitude. If you say, “I am going to like the bus ride,” then you will like it. I lent my pillow to the soldier boy next to me and still was as comfortable as ever.

Your boy,

My dear Ones, Dallas, Texas, April 17, Friday 2 P.M.

I have really not kept you up to the hour, but I’ll make good later. I had just time to write the date line in Dallas. I am in GREENVILLE now, on my way to MEMPHIS, Tennessee. The country is beautiful, like Hoherhagen, country. (A farming community near Bremen, Germany where some of Peter’s Dad’s family were established.)

Your boy

Memphis, Tennessee, April 18, 1953, Saturday 5:45 A.M.
The washing room of the Greyhound Depot
My dear Mother, my dear Papa, my dear Brother Hellmut,

At 7:45 A.M my next bus leaves for BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA. This leaves me time to write you a letter. What I would like to tell you is dear to my heart. It comes from a thorough experience. It is not just a flight of fancy. It cancers my food problems. I am very grateful now that you have supplied me on this trip with such a storehouse of excellent food. Out of this storehouse of plenty, which caused me quite some pain and discomfort, I learned a valuable lesson of life. It is a lesson that will be as vivid to me yet tomorrow and next year also. You are not to blame for this. I asked for it. You gave me so much to take along that I felt like a bird with a ten-pound weight on each wing. I could not spread my wings and fly with all that weight on my wings. And I wanted to fly so badly. I did not have the divine wisdom to give it all away or throw it all away; I could not do either.

I watched birds and they did not carry their food with them. But they still found what they needed wherever they went. God has planted stores along the way from Los Angeles to Richmond. In these stores I can buy what I need, when I need it. I will not starve from one stop to the next.

The birds don’t eat while they fly. You meant very well with that butter; but the butter surely did not know how to behave in the warm bus. In the end I ate more butter at one time than was good for me. The result: I had it coming out of both ends. That I managed to get the bus window open in time saved me great trouble. To see what happens to the food after it has once passed by the taste buds made me shiver. This might have done something to stimulate my self-control. Right now I feel like eating nothing.

I would only like to share my experience with you. It might also help you in certain ways. I have decided that wherever I will be from now on, I will obtain my nourishment from that locality. I enjoy walking into a store and buying something from the man behind the counter.

I do not want to store up food for the morrow. Each day will take care of itself. That way I will be doing a little more like the birds, so please don’t send me any packages at all anymore. If you want to make me happy, send a package to an unknown soldier somewhere in the world. Or send a package to anyone whom you feel might be in need and in need for love. If you send me your letters with your love, my cravings will be satisfied. Please try to understand me.

Yesterday I saw a little girl or boy fishing at a pond. The bus went by fast, so I could not tell which it was. But that matters not. The little picture looked so beautiful that I thought I would tell you about it. While turning the picture over in my mind, a thought accompanied it. We must learn to gain that child-like expectancy of the fisher boy or fisher girl in our search for God. I feel if we gain that mental outlook, our greatest obstacle will be overcome.

Dear Mother, that advice your doctor gave you about relaxing when you sit down on the toilet surely works wonders. I always used the wrong techniques. Thank you for telling me about it.

May God bless you and give you the strength to do what is right.

Your boy, Peter
Thank your for the envelopes, Mother. I guess you can tell which pen I’m using

My dear Ones, Winfield, Alabama, April 18, 1953, 12:30 P.M.

This is a little town; maybe three thousand souls live in simple little houses and huts. In these parts there are mostly green forests with lots of undergrowth. The roads are not as scientifically and expensively constructed as in California. But I love the simplicity of the country and its people. I am so greatly blessed that I may know life in other places. I am drinking in deep the beauty of the land. It has rained lately. Everything is refreshed.

Your boy,

Camden, South Carolina, April 19, 1953, 6:30 A.M. Sunday morning
My dear Ones,

It is Sunday. It is Sunday all over, both in the East and West. I feel so fresh and filled with strength. This night I slept so sound like I seldom did before in my best bed. And a dream might also indicate that strength was given me on two levels. The whole army business seems more like a wonderful dream to me now. The first part was only like a cold shower.

Your boy

Now I have the pleasant after effects.

Raleigh, North Carolina, April 19th, 1953, Sunday, 12:23 P.M.
My dear Parents and Brother,

This wonderful trip across America, the Beautiful, is approaching an end. But that does not mean an end of beautiful things to be seen, for each blade of grass and each tree is beautiful and wonderful to behold.

About an hour ago I was a little hungry and needed something to refresh me. For the first time on the whole trip a kind man selling delicious apples and candies entered the bus at the last stop. I was so happy about the apple and I thanked the man and God for looking out for me so lovingly.

In a few hours I will be in Richmond.

Your boy Peter

Richmond, Virginia, April 19, 1953
Greyhound Bus Depot, Sunday evening.
My dear Ones,

My airmail letter for you is lying in front of me. I am dropping this postcard into the mailbox together with the airmail letter.

I read today in Unity, the April 12th issue. I read about the renewing power of Spring. As I read about it, I also observed it all along the road. It was beautifully confirmed in my soul what I read, and I knew that our bodies and souls also undergo the season of Spring.

Your boy now and forever, Peter

Richmond, Virginia, April 19, 1953, Sunday evening about 7:00 P.M.

My dear Mother, my dear Papa, my dear Brother Hellmut,

I am in Richmond, Virginia, many miles away from you and California. But what difference does that make between you and me? We love each other as before, and even more, and that is what counts.

I am sitting in the Greyhound Bus Depot restaurant. It is located upstairs, above the waiting room and the noise. It is almost empty, except for about ten people and you and me and God. I am sitting next to the window. It is quickly getting dark and it is also raining. The people are seeking shelter from the rain. I like to see it fall, for everything is made new by it. As I write this, the window opens as if by itself and a fresh breeze blows across my face. Maybe I better close the window a little; otherwise this letter won’t be legible.

I arrived in Richmond at 5:25 P.M.; that is, either 2:23 P.M. or 3:23 P.M for you in California. I missed one connection in Atlanta, Georgia; but I had enough time left over to come a bus later. I took a local from Atlanta. I like them. They show you more of the country and its people. Right now I am waiting for my duffle bag to catch up with me. If the bag does not arrive by nine, I am going to have it sent to the Camp. I judge the Camp to be about 50 miles southwest of Richmond. It takes 1-1/2 hours to get there by bus. The price is $1.54. The Greyhound does not have buses going to the Camp. It is the Pickett Bus Company, or something like that name.

I met one of the boys from Fort Ord in the depot here. I think he started in Fresno by plane. Don’t tell anyone but his fare was $186.00.

I also talked to a boy from Camp Pickett. He has one more week of training left. He had eight weeks of Infantry basic like I did, and the next seven weeks he had what I am going have. He told me that the first four weeks will be classroom instructions, the next two weeks are amateur hospital work, the seventh week is practical application in the field – no actual cases, you only play pretend. The eighth week, which the boy will undergo staring Monday, is only processing. He will find out his order this coming week. He has no idea where he will go. He said that some boys continue with special schooling, others go overseas and other stay here in hospitals.

Please do not try to unveil what God has planned for me. He knows best, and He knows best when to let us know. As the pages of the calendar turn, I will write you what is written on the pages.

The trip across America I will remember, and many of the reasons why I will remember it, I have told you about on the little postcards. But there are more. There is one experience which happened to me this afternoon. This one I would like to tell you yet. The others I will let rest in my storehouse of memories for a while.

It happened that I was just enjoying my lunch while the bus was rolling along. I was enjoying a piece of Klaben (German fruit cake), Pumpernickel bread and dates. It really tasted good. In the midst of all this the bus slowed down and then stopped. The driver opened the door and an old colored man, dressed in what I think must have been his Sunday best, started to climb the steps into the bus. I think the man was also using a cane for support. The colored man gave the driver a ticket. The driver said the ticket was not good for the Greyhound line, he would have to wait for the next bus to come and take him along or else buy another ticket. The colored man was on this way to church. The colored man stepped out of the bus and waited some more.

Before all that had happened had registered in my mind and heart, the bus was rolling again. I had been sitting in the second row from the front while all this had taken place. I was so close, yet my heart was so far away. I had been too busy with my good meal to have the time to think of the needs of others. No sooner was it too late than it dawned upon me that I could have easily slipped the kind old man one of my dollars, or maybe two. Oh, how it hurts me that I had failed to do this little deed of kindness.

But it also taught me a lesson. How easily we forget others’ needs when we are too busy with ourselves. I am sure I have failed many times before to do a deed of kindness, but only now, when I really should know better, does my negligence hurt me. Only after I asked God to forgive me, please, and said a prayer for the colored man, did I feel comforted in my heart. It seems to me that the colored man had faith. He wanted to go to church but did not even have the money to go back home.

You might also like to know that it takes two and one-half hours by bus to Washington, D.C.; that is, from Richmond. And it takes eight and one-half hours from Richmond to N.Y.C. It is 365 miles from Richmond to N.Y.C. How many miles is it from you to me? I think that we are so close to each other that we can measure the distance in inches.

Once more I would like to tell you, dear Mother, how happy I am about what told me in regard to digestion. I can’t believe it yet; I can hardly trust my eyes. Effortlessly I can have (bowel) movements now. When there is something in the system ready to be shipped out, it comes as soon as I relax. Would you please thank your doctor in H.P. on my behalf? I might have been using for many more years the wrong method if it had not been for you, your thoughtfulness, and you kind doctor. And I guess that God was also a partner. I know He was. Thank you, dear God, and my dear organizer Mother and dear Dr. Vaughn.

I will mail you a postcard with regular mail at the same time as I send this letter to you by airmail. That way you will know what the difference in time is. You can probably figure an additional day from Camp Pickett. I will send you my address as soon as I know it. Till then, just think of me.

It is dark now. I cannot see what I saw earlier, but I know it is there. It was a cross on a church that I saw in the dusk. So, as you can see, the people know about God here, too. And when I step through the Camp gates in a few hours – maybe three hours – God will be stepping through the gate with me. If I am wearing a uniform or civilian clothes, whether I am here or in California with you, God will be with us all wherever we may be.

Best wishes and love to all my friends and to you.

Your boy, always – Peter

Camp Pickett, Virginia

My dear Ones, April 20, 1953 – Monday

Just a postcard to let you know that I am safe and sound and to let you know my address. I am here in a processing center until I get assigned to my training company. How long that will be is indefinite. I might be in the center for a few days or a few weeks before I start school. It is indefinite.

The country is beautiful. I know I will be spending many of my Sundays with God in the woods. But one thing is sure, you are always as satisfied and content in the place you are now as you were at the previous place. I am learning. It is wonderful to learn.

Your boy as always,

April 22, 1953

My dear Brother Hellmut, my dear Mother, my dear Papa,

I have two and a half hours this morning to tell you of the great beauty all around. But I cannot tell you of all the wonders for the beauty is great and it is always growing.

If I could only find the words, I would tell you about the beauty of the little spot where I am sitting now. If I were a painter, I could paint the scene for you. I think you might even become homesick for the place where I am now, could you only see it.

You are far away, so they tell me. But I do not feel it. I feel you are right next to me. I am feeling even closer to you now than when I was at For Ord. It is only in the mind that distance exists. When I see the green grass here and the same birds singing as I hear in our garden, then I am sure that all is One.

I should not and will not say, “I am sure.” I will say that I have an inkling, a hunch; for this attitude of mind I am leaving room for greater expansion.

I have a perfect part of the day - - . No, every part is really perfect. It is as perfect as we can make it. I am spending the morning hours with you. I am working from 12 noon till eight in the evening at present. My morning hours I can spend as I want to. I am a fire guard. The job is just right for me. I take care of eight coal furnaces and see to it that the fire is burning nicely. Usually I can work for an hour and then rest for an hour or read or write because the fires don’t need constant attention. That means I am working as a fire guard about four hours per day.

As far as I can see, I will have this job till I finish processing and get assigned to my training unit. After that I will be fire guard only once in a while. But we will wait and see. I have the job today yet and tomorrow is far away, only known to God.

The barracks and water are heated with soft coal. It burns very good. The work makes me a little black but that washes off easily enough. When I put the coals into the stove, I am puzzled every time how so much heat can be locked up in the black stones.

I have walked about out 150 yards in order to be where I am. I have come 150 yards from my barrack, but I am already in the beautiful green woods. Since I am writing this letter, four nosey rabbits have already investigated who had entered their domain. The sunshine is falling scattered on the dry leaves, the fern, the flowers, the grass and me. There are deciduous and pine trees here. The biggest tree I can see has a trunk two feet in diameter. And the littlest tree I cannot see. The younger generations of tree are very plentiful. Their stems are about as thick as a thumb or little finger.

Everything is stretching for the sun,. Each little tree has faith that he will receive his diploma one day. This faith gives him the strength to do his work today. Likewise, we all have the faith that one day we will know our Father and return home; otherwise, we would not have the strength to live.

Dogwood is also blooming during this time. Dogwood is a tree. The trunk is about as thick as an arm, ranging from big arms to children’s arms. The blossoms are white and look like Jasmine blossoms. The flowers have a faint smell. The flowering trees were so plentiful along some parts of my trip that it looked as if snow was hanging in mid-air in the woods.

And there are also wild Azaleas blooming.

Two feet in front of me a little brook is flowing. The water silently travels through the forest. One day this water will meet another water. And then two and three waters will become one. More and waters will join hands until one day all will meet in the big ocean. Like those little waters from the forests join hands, so can we humans join our forces when we unite in friendship and love. Each new friend makes the river bigger, and bigger rivers flow swifter to the One ocean. And bigger rivers can also overcome obstacles easier.

Just now as I was resting on my elbow and stretching my legs a little, I notice a happy little squirrel taking its morning walk through the tree tops. I tell you, it is all so beautiful. And the weather is so nice. I do not have to freeze anymore. A mild air and a gentle breeze, that is the weather report for today.

We had two days of what is nicknamed “Dogwood Winter.” When the Dogwood blooms it is usually cold for a few days. But after that is over, the weather is like today. And you don’t have to worry about me freezing for I have that nice brown sweater along.

And maybe you can send a warm thought to the boys in Fort Ord because they are still cold.

Human nature is peculiar. The boys from here are anxious to get assigned to a station in California; the boys in California told me how much they would like to come along with me. Everyone seems to want to go somewhere else from where they are at the moment. The same beauty is all over; we must learn to realize this. When we once get along with ourselves, there is not a place in the world then where we would not like it. The boys don’t realize that they have the daily duties of sweeping floors and washing clothes wherever the may be. To be able to wait, and wait patiently, we should learn no matter where in life we may be. Whether we are a clerk in an insurance company, a salesman in a tropical fish store, a student at U.C.L.A., or a soldier in the army, we must learn patience before God will open the door to greater happiness.

I had the feeling that it was time to leave my little place near the brook. God told me just at the right time. For a second I thought it might be late and so I hurried up my step. But then I knew that God would not let me be late. And so I slowed down again to walk in rhythm with nature. We must try to do everything in rhythm with the Great Heartbeat. When we eat it is so wonderful to try to remember this, for it helps us to eat for the purpose of building a more perfect body/temple for our soul. When the vegetables assimilate the elements of the earth together with the sunshine, they do it in a definite rhythm. A cabbage does not eat faster on Monday than on Tuesday.

The meals are very good here; I really get enough. I am also drinking a bottle of milk in the morning now. When I get the bottle, I put it inside my shirt and leave it there until I have eaten everything else. By the time I have finished everything, the milk has warmed up a little.

I hope that you people are managing all right with your food problem. It is really no problem. We make it one. One thing I would like to suggest to everyone in regard to any problem, and especially the food problem at the moment, is to never have the feeling that you have found a permanent solution, but always be ready to make alterations. As we grow, the old garment – the old ideas – won’t fit anymore. So it will be necessary to make some adjustments.

I would like to mention that it will be better if no one goes to the trouble to visit me here. The camp is not too easy to reach if you don’t have a car. I plan to stay in the immediate vicinity and to walk and rest in the woods when I have time off. Not until I get my next assignment, which will be after my medical training, do I plan to travel any big distance. If someone would like to visit me, a letter and a thought are always welcomed visitors.

My best wishes and my God bless you,

Your boy, always
Peter, Dieter

My dear Ones in the West, April 23, 1953

The east shall meet the West in the beautiful woods next to the quiet little brook. Again I may spend one hour in the forest. It is so wonderful. Last night, when my work was done, I visited the forest. The weather is so perfect that you can lie down in the forest at night and sleep. I thought I would think for a while in the forest last night. I lay down on the dry leaves and before I knew it I was asleep. I slept so sound; I do not know how long, maybe an hour.

I have been a little anxious this morning to start my schooling soon. I thought that the sooner I got it over with, the better. But God let me know how foolish it was for me to be so anxious. He said, Peter, every moment of your life you are in training.” To think that training will only start next week is foolish. We are being trained every moment of the day. If we realize this, we might make a greater effort to graduate. We will realize that many times we had to repeat classes. I am beginning to see that training does not consist of sixteen weeks of Basic, but of life-times of fundamentals. We are so far only trying to learn the A-B-C of life, to be free from desires and love God above all and know Him in all and love your neighbor as yourself.

I noticed the other day how people tend to stick to their own circle of friends. When I was assigned my bed, I was next to boys I did not know at all. I was at first sorry I could not sleep next to a boy from Fort Ord. There were several boys from Fort Ord in the barrack. But when I thought for a moment, I was glad to be where I was put because I could meet more people and make new friends being in a new environment. The boys from For Ord were automatically acquainted with me.

Do you ever notice how certain people always bunch together? It is time to make the circle larger. Do you know how some people like to add one new word to their vocabulary each day? Why not add one new friend to our circle of friendships each day or each week? That way we will become the member of a wonderful big family one day. Sometimes it takes only smile or a kind word to make a friend.

Mother, your pen ran out of ink just when it was time for me to return from the woods. You can probably see where the writing grows faint. That was God’s way of telling me what time it was.

I think it might be better if you don’t send me any letters until you get my new address. I will probably get transferred to my training company tomorrow or Saturday.

I notice that many more boys read the Bible here than at Fort Ord. We have quite a mixture of religions here. Each person trying to find God in his own ways. They are from all states. Yesterday, several boys even arrived from Hawaii.

It is a beautiful evening, so wonderful. It seems like a reward for the day’s labor. We do not have to heat the barracks any more. The air is just right now. I am enclosing something for you which I liked very much.

Your boy, who really is quite close to you, but especially close when he keeps in the “Divine Trend.”


April 25, 1953

My dear Father, my dear Mother, and my dear Brother,

Do not look for me in the mailbox so much; look for me in the spirit. You will find me more often in spirit than in the mailbox. I will write you whenever I can, but there are others also I would like to write to. You know that I always love you, but there are others who do not yet know that I love them. I would like to tell them. I also know that you love me always. So, instead of sending me many letters, send also a letter to someone who does not as yet know that you love them. This way we can spread more joy and find more joy in the world.

I would like to interrupt here for a moment to tell you what I just heard and then saw. A few rustling leaves betrayed my little friend and brother. A turtle about eight inches in diameter is just taking its morning stroll through the forest.

Yes, in the beautiful forest I may spend this morning again. I have not gone to church yet. But I have gone to the woods. The woods are my chapel. It is open to anyone. It is open in the day and at night. It is never locked. But how many seek God in the woods? We are so close and yet so far away. It is like with the eyes. We have eyes, but yet we do not see.

It is a joy for me to write you. Do not feel that you have to answer or acknowledge my letters. I know that you love to do it. But if you turn that love to one of my brothers or sisters, we will all be blessed. God is giving me calmness and joy even as I write. Should I ask for more for myself? It is so wonderful here, so peaceful.

But we should remember that it is peaceful anywhere, if it is peace inside ourselves. I see other boys hurry and I see them restless where there is no need. The world will go on whether we are calm or excited, and it is really much better to be calm. You can see many boys bow their heads here in prayer before each meal. It is wonderful to see, even though if it is only a few. If only a handful of persons make a start to be calm, it is good. If we want to wait for the majority to calm down before we calm down, we will have to wait for a long time.

Remember, Mother, in your business to make calmness your first business and filing cards the second order of business. And Papa, remember, first comes calmness, then come the sales. And Hellmut, first comes peace and a quiet mind and then comes the physics problem. And in eating, first comes thankfulness and peace and then comes eating.

Yesterday I was a little tired when I went into the forest. And God again helped me and lifted my burden. He spoke to me and said, “If the task of the week is too heavy, take the task of the day by itself. And if the task of the day is too heavy, then take each hour or each ten minutes by itself.” I felt so much lighter when I stepped out of the forest chapel.

I am also meeting some wonderful boys. It seems as if I am just rediscovering them. When two souls meet again, there comes a great joy. Do you remember how happy you were when I came home to you? It is a joy like that, only a little more inside, expressed more through shining eyes, when two souls meet again. We will all meet again, and we will know each other by our smiling eyes and an invisible rainbow of love and peace which we are building between us today.

Give my best wishes to all my friends, your boy – as always, Peter, Dieter

My dear Ones, April 25, 1953, 6:40 P.M.

When I returned from the forest I was told that I was being looked for. I checked the source of the rumor and found it was true. In ten minutes I should be ready to ship to a new company. It all happened sooner and more unexpected than I thought. And the nice thing is that there was no previous excitement. The hours before, I spent in calmness in the forest together with you.

My new company is a happy company and my new platoon is a happy platoon, a happy family. This evening I will go to church with my new-found friends. I will meet them at ten after seven. They are the three boys from Hawaii.

Well, I’ll give you my new address. It will be my home for the next couple of weeks.

Pvt. Peter Laue, U.S. 56192300
Co. D., 7th M.T.B.
M.R.T.C. Camp Pickett, Virginia
May calmness be yours and our first order of business and may God bless us in our new undertaking.

Your little medic boy,
Peter, Dieter

I am still close to the forest, even closer than before. Your boy

My dear Ones, April 26, 1953

Have you heard about those unscheduled airlines? Well, this is something like it. This is an unscheduled letter per airmail. I wanted to write you just a little postal greeting, but I had no postals and therefore no postal greeting but an airmail greeting to tell you of my dilemma. So could you please send some postcards so that I may return them to you soon?

But one other thing I would like to tell you. I spent most of the day with my new friend in the forest. He wrote letters all day, sitting quietly on one spot for many hours. But I wrote, rested, wrote and rested. And before we left the forest we said a prayer. Our souls blend together in the One Great Spirit of Christ and God. We have found each other and we are so happy. This boy is in a different company, but together we are in Spirit.

I knew you would be very happy to know about my friend, my brother. I thought it was worth an airmail letter to tell you that I have found a diamond, a beautiful, a radiant diamond in my friend. Am I too enthusiastic? I do not think so for my friend and I understand each other in the silence also.

Your boy and may God bless you,

My dear Papa, my dear Brother, my dear Mother, April 28, 1953

Yesterday, dear Mother, I found your letter which you sent along with the box of Lindt Chocolate. It is a letter filled with motherly love. I read it more than once. And I hope you won’t mind if I read the letter to my friend. It is a letter not for me alone, but for any boy who’s far away from home.

Last Saturday evening you would have loved to see your boy together with some of his friends. We were sitting outside on a bench enjoying the mild evening. We were all dressed in our Sunday uniforms because we had met to go to church together. Your box of Lindt Chocolate was especially ordained for that evening. I told everyone about the quality of that chocolate and the love wrapped up in the gift. The boys agreed, the candy was more than candy. The spirit of brotherly love was very strong that evening. The candy is gone, but the seed has been sown and it is growing.

Just now a boy brought me your first two letters. I had planned to send this letter by regular mail, but because of your first two letters, I will add another stamp. May I open your letter now? I think I will do that.

I have eaten supper twice tonight. At five-thirty I enjoyed potatoes, celery and carrot sauce, spinach, lettuce, a piece of bread and butter, and a delicious fruit salad. My second meal was spiritual in nature: your letters. Thank you, dear Mother.

I was in doubt yesterday whether or not I should donate blood. I knew God gives me the strength always to carry on. I put the question to God. But God thought it would be better for me to keep my blood this time. I was turned down because my blood pressure was too low.

I had been keeping some of the food you had given me along for the trip. I did not quite know for what day I had been saving the food. But I knew on the day of the blood donation. To those boys who had given blood, I gave that extra bite. I remembered how I felt when I had given.

There are two favors I would like to ask for. Could you send me one metal plaque with the prayer, “O Lord, grant that each - -,” and could you send me two or three of the German plays I was reading at U.C.L.A.? That is, if you have not as yet been able to find someone else who can use them. I have a friend here who would like to continue his studies in German. And he likes plays. So, if there are any textbooks left, would you please - - ?

If you would like for me to, I will send you my thoughts by airmail. I can see from the enclosed envelopes that you do. But what if I only send a card so that I might send someone else a letter? Still airmail? My letters are not of the current events type, but of the type that try to be of lasting interest.

Today was a beautiful day. I have found a new brother; he is your brother too. He is the tree in the forest. The life flowing in its stem and making it grow is the same life that is in you and me. I am happy because I see so much beauty all around. Let us pray for a friend who told me yesterday, “I am so unhappy, because I see darkness.” No man will keep his heart closed to the powers of unselfish love. Even the most lowly man and lonely soul cannot help but unfold into a beautiful flower in the presence of the Great White Light. There is no darkness except as our imperfect eyes think there is.

The training is much less strenuous here; it is more like a Boy Scout camp than an army camp. God does not train us harder than is good for body and soul. Keep up the good work, my dear Ones. Today might be our last day.

Your boy,


This is extra; it is for that extra little deed of kindness for someone, so that a flower might unfold a little further. In a gentle, silent way we must send out the Light. Your boy.

(a dollar was enclosed in the letter)

My dear Ones, April 30, 1953

It is close to 7:30 A.M. A beautiful sunny morning. There are many rich promises in the hours that stretch out before us. If we remain steadfast and true, we will be very happy when the sun is setting in the west.

One thought I would like to send you this morning. It might help you as it is helping me now. Remember how I was speaking of the cold at Fort Ord and was wishing for warmth? Here, it its quite warm around noon. Should I be wishing for a cool breeze? No, I must not make the same mistake again. I must not ask God for the end of the cold or heat. We must ask God to give us the strength to bear the heat cheerfully and steadily to the end.

May God give you the strength today as He has never failed to do. He has never let us down.

Your boy, today and always,

In love,

Peter, Dieter

My dear Mother, my dear Father, my dear Brother, April 30, 1953

If one could see, he could see that God never fails those in need. I knew that God would help me today. He did in a wonderful way. At one o’clock today a forced road march was scheduled. The day started off with a clear blue sky. It promised to be warm. To march four miles in fifty minutes with about fifty pounds on your back did not promise to be too easy. During the morning hours I was very tired. I called upon the One Help that never fails. By noon the sky was covered by clouds. As we were ready to begin, I asked for strength once more. Suddenly I realized that all needed help, and so I asked in everyone’s name for strength. I then started looking around me to see if I could adjust a field pack a little better for someone. I found someone whom I could make things easier. As we started marching I was filled with strength, enough strength to cheer the others along. I told them that I eat the same rations as they do. There was no excuse for them to give up. During the march we were all refreshed by a refreshing sprinkle from above. We finished the march in forty-seven minutes with His help. This evening I am filled with more strength than in the morning. And again I am filled with the assurance that God never fails His children. If the need is great enough, our prayers will be strong enough. Each time we take a step, we also receive strength for the next step. But we must start walking in faith. After we returned from the march it started to pour. Lots of fresh water came from above. Dressed in a good raincoat, we stepped outside to go to our next classroom. I enjoyed the refreshing rain. It is helpful to say, “God, help me to understand You in all Your manifestations; the cold wind, the warmth of the noon hour and the evening raindrops. Good night, my dear Ones. A brother of mine in the barrack gave me this card for you, dear Mother. Your boy, Peter


I love you, my dear Mother, for each thing you do
To bring me joy each day.
I love you for your tenderness
That smoothes my cares away.
I love you for your faith and trust
And understanding, too.
And MOTHER dear, with all my heart,
I’ll keep on loving you more each day,
Until one day my love will know how to span
All space and time, until through you
I may find the One Great Love.


At home or away, I will be and am with you.

Your boy,
Peter, Dieter

The moon and stars are shining always, during the day and night. Sometimes they are behind the clouds, but they are there.

Peter-The Lords Scribe and Storyteller

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All writings by Peter, the Lord's Scribe and Storyteller and all paintings by Rebekah, the Lord's artist are copyright free.