Friday, March 14, 2008

Heber Allen Describes Y. M. C. A. Work (1917)

Columbia City Post ~ Wednesday, September 26, 1917

Heber W. Allen, of this city, who enlisted in the army at Fort Wayne, in June, and who is now at Camp Jackson, Columbia, S. C. address 2 M. C., Company 41, has just written friends in this city a general report on the work of the Y. M. C. A. Heber having had experience in the last three months at three of the principal army camps of the U. S. finally being transferred to Camp Jackson to assist in the baking department in the great camp there.

He says: "The Y. M. C. A. needs all the praise you can give it. Everything I heard regarding the good work before enlisting is true and then some. While we were held in Camp Gordon in Georgia, the Y. M. C. A. came to our rescue, offering us free of all charge books, stationery, magazines, newspapers, besides new army Bibles for each soldier to keep. One of the Y. M. C. A. men came several times a day with our mail and was very generous in offering to go and get tobacco, candy, etc., for the private soldiers. At many of these Y. M. C. A. headquarters you can pick up most any study you desire, including French. Also writing, spelling, arithmetic, and typewriting.

"Tonight we have a "Hawaiian band," by ambulance company No. 31, including both vocal and instrumental music. Yesterday a celebrated band came out at 4 o'clock and played for us. Every day there is something good arranged for us. Then at 7:15 each day there is a Bible study for half an hour which is very interesting. My hay fever has not left entirely but is not near as bad as at home. I can sleep at night now."

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