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Posts Tagged ‘Enlistment WW1’

006Eugene, June 8, 1917

Dear Mother and Dad,

        As you have learned by the telegram I sent yesterday, I am into it. It came somewhat suddenly but I do not regret it except on account of the way you folks look at it. I was sure of the draft though and you will have to admit that this is better than the trenches.

       You know, in the registration about 600 registered in Eugene and over 400 claimed exemption. That would fix us who claimed none, because those who want exemption very badly will find some way to get it. I was disgusted when I found out how things would go.

    The Ambulance Corps was filling up fast so I thought I would look out for Number One and get in to it. I know nearly all of the boys in it. They are U. students and are a much better bunch than I will would find in the Conscript Army. There is very little danger in the Ambulance work, as I said before. Only 5 out of 450 Americans havebeen killed since the war began. There is a better chance to see things than in the Trenches and a fellow will learn more. We get $36.00 per month, and, of course, food and clothing. We are enlisted under the U.S. Army but are really a part of the Red Cross.

    I talked with president Campbell and he said that my job would be waiting for me when I come back and everything possible would be done to help me when the war is over. They will hire someone temporarily to take my place, and will discharge him or her when I return. That is very good of them, I think.

    I am to be sworn in Tomorrow morning and then we are free till we are called to active service which we expect to be about two ir three weeks from to-morrow. I want to get out and make some money before we are called because it all will come in handy.

     I would like to spend a few days in Newberg before we leave too, so I must get busy at all my stuff or I wont get it all done.

     Above all things I don’t want you folks to worry about me. I will write every week as usual and the letters will get out someway. Of course after we get to France the mail service may be irregular, but it will work after a fashion I know. I think I told you before that the Corps goes to Allentown, Pa. to train. I think we stay there about a month.

     I would like very much to come home, but you folks know that all of us would seel worse if I did. A good-bye of any kind is hard on a person, and the way things are I can keep on writing just like I have been, and it will be much better all around. Don’t you think so?

     The one thing I like about this Ambulance work is the fact that I am to help save life instead of destroying it. The French are said to almost worship the Americans, and always want the American Ambulances to take care of them. A man was here a while ago who had been on the front and he said that a person would be surprised at the way the French treat the Americans.

     When I get to France I am going to study the language for all I am worth, and to take care of the German prisoners. Knowing their language, I can do much better than those who cannot talk to them.

     Of course, if the Asthma should get me I would be no good and would have to be sent home again. If it does, all right, but I told the examining board about it and they put me through a close examination and said that there was nothing wrong with me that would keep me out of the Army. I expected that anyway, and so I was not much surprised.

     This step of mine makes me feel much more at ease. Before I did it I was all knocked out. The draft axe was swinging over my head and I couldn’t get down to business at all. All the boys were going, and you can imagine how I felt, and was made to feel. the only thing about it is the fear that you folks will worry.

~~~~~~

Courage, compassion for the enemy. According to the Registration Card, he was #9 to register that day. My great-grandparents must have been heart-sick, but Dale was so sure of his decision.

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