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Ms. "The First World War"

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page 13

is no doubt in my mind that that [sic] this story has a real historical basis.

At this point, in fairness to the military authorities, I wish to say, and do so with a feeling of deep gratitude that in all the sixteen months in the army I never once was subjected to any physical abuse, nor was it my lot to witness any severe act of lawlessness or man-handling by the authorities, although later many reports reached me of or concerning those who endured bodily violence at the hands of overzealous, and undisciplined officers or privates. I heard of (now well substantiated) acts that rightfully belong to the Dark Ages. My work at the mess was accepted as a temporary assignment until the President according to the draft act would officially define all non-combatant service from which sincere objectors had the privilege of choosing. His ultimate designation of non-combatant service included “farm furloughs” which was acceptable to most of the objectors who had not beforehand signed up for hospital or quartermaster service, but arrangements for furloughs to farms were slow in the making and so many sincere objectors did not get into this service before the war was over. Consequently hundreds were “pushed” about in camps and causing the officers many annoyances. My work at the mess was much enjoyed by myself and Mr. Klippenstein, a C.O. friend of mind from Henderson, Nebraska. The staff consisted of one Mess Sergeant, two cooks, and two DISHWASHERS. Our pastry cook (baker) was a typical Greek. We also had a young Polish lad who worked in a restaurant in civilian life, and who served here as table waiter. The Pole and the Greek sometimes got into difficulties and one time it became so serious that only by prompt action on the part of Mr. Klippenstein and myself, were we able to avert bloodshed and possibly murder. In the pers-

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