Posts Tagged ‘WWI life insurance policy’

Military Rule #1 (as I have heard) goes something like this: “Hurry up, and wait.” My son often complained of this when he told me about early morning drills and the like: his unit would arrive and wait an hour before anyone showed up. Dale’s impatience is in the waiting: when he enlisted in June, he was under the impression that his orders would arrive by the 20th of the same month.

Newberg, Ore. June 25, ’17

Dear Mother and Dad,

       I am still fooling around here, but will soon leave for Eugene, orders or no orders. So many of the boys have enlisted that this town isn’t like it used to be. I was in Vancouver yesterday and saw Jack. He hasn’t changed a bit. He has eight bulldogs, counting the pups. He said to tell John that because he never came to Vancouver while he was out here, he wouldn’t get a bull-pup; — No sir! It tickled him to death to think about me going to France. He said that if I didn’t come back and stay a week with him when I come back that he would raise hell,–yes sir! He is going to enlist in the “Calvary”(sic) in a year or two and furnish his own horse. His wife wants him to go right now, by Gawd! He has a great life.

     I got a letter from Uncle Harry saying that he missed me as he was going thru Eugene on way to Frisco. He is coming back in two or three weeks. I guess I’ll be gone then though. As orders ought to be in any day now.

     The Red Cross is greatly oversubscribed in this state. I guess it was all over the nation.

     I want to thank you for the offer of money, but I don’t need any now. I appreciate the offer just as much as I do the coin, but as soon as I get Orders I get $36 per. from then on and I ought to be able to live on that all right.

    I am going to send you my insurance policy to keep. I’ll send $25.00 per year to you to pay the premium on it. I was lucky in taking it when I did because the rate is not raised for war. Most of the policies issued now require 1/3 of the policy advanced upon enlistment.

    Oh, I’ll take care of myself all right. Don’t worry about that. In the Ambulance work there is not the chance for risks that there is in other lines of work. We may never see the firing line at all. We work back of what they call the “postes de secours” or emergency hospitals. We may be used to man hospital trains too. I heard the other day that we stay in Paris for a time after getting across and study hospital and field conditions and methods before going to the front.

    Well, I’ll write again after I get to Eugene.

Your son



I don’t know why he thought ambulance work would not leave him just as scarred, but I have the knowledge of how it came down and he did not.

I am trying to publish the rest of Dale’s letters before Veteran’s Day, and the one above segues neatly into this letter mailed the following week:

Eugene, Ore. July 2, ’17

Dear Mother and Dad,

     I am here at Eugene again and am drilling every night with the Corps. We expect to be called out this week, because the Captain has been instructed to wire for transportation which he did yesterday. We ought to be away by the 8th of the month, at least. I am hoping we move soon because it is tiresome business waiting here as I am.

     We drill every night from 7 to eight. I have a corporal’s job, and I am going to try to beat some of these sergeants out of their places. If I can it will mean more money for me.

     I go to a class in French every day now and am picking up all I can of the grammar and pronunciation before I go.

     The latest rumor though. is that we are to be sent to Russia. That will be all right too as far as I am concerned. A person can learn a lot in that country these days.

     While I was in Newberg Mrs. Wilkins said she was looking for a card from you, Ma.

     Those pictures are kind of poor. I wish you would get some good ones taken. Who is the kid in the car with John?

      We are having some hot weather out here. How is it there? I hope you can find time enough to use the shade once in a while.

      Say Dad, I am sending my Policy to you to take care of. If you will take care of the premiums for me, I’ll be very glad. I’ll try to send you $25.oo every year to cover them. If I cannot I’ll pay you for them when I come back. All I want is to have someone to see that it if kept up. It is the best war-time policy there is on the market now and I would hate to let it go back.

     How is the fishing back there now? They are catching lots of trout in the Mckenzie near here. I’ve seen some big ones in some of the windows down town.

     Well, there is not much news. Everything is quiet as possible around here. I put in most of my time studying drill regulations, first aid, French and writing some poetry.

Your son


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