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TRENCH and CAMP
 August 26, 1919
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Great Ingenuity Shown In Retraining Wounded

 Some of the stories which are told agents of the Federal Board for Vocational Education by the disabled men are full of interest and romance. This is a true one that George told when he was asked, “What are you going to do about it?”

Over on a side street in Chicago there is a restaurant where the best gumbo and rice in America is found. For twelve years George had been the chef, and there wasn’t a single patron of the place who didn’t come partly for the pleasure of seeing that large smile that greeted you under the white cap. When George first took the job, back in 1905, he had visions of its being a temporary affair to tide him over the lean years, but somehow the time seemed convenient to make a change-so the gumbo and rice continued to improve.

When the United States sent out the call, George was over and above draft age, but he couldn’t somehow see himself cooking when there was work for a man to do Over There. So he closed up and went to camp.

  Coming down to drill one morning he ran into a beam that had been left sticking out over the door, and was fairly stunned for a moment, but in another he was out again and drilling like a rookie. Next morning, however, he waked up-blind.

That blow took from him all hope of France. It meant that he would be discharged from the army with no chance of recovering his sight. But was he downhearted? No! He applied to the Federal Board for Vocational Education and when he heard the plans the Government made for reeducating men who had been disabled in service he was eager and enthusiastic to begin the training. Optimism was indigenous to George’s nature, and he couldn’t keep that smile from his lips or hope from his heart.

When the board sending him to Baltimore where the blind are retrained, he didn’t want to go. He wanted to carry on just as if his eyes were O.K. and he insisted on a course in some college or school. Well, the Board found out about his past education, and they chose the following subjects for him: Typewriting by the touch system, the use of the telephone and the dictaphone, and a course in salesmanship to finish up with. All this study will turn him out fitted to be a telephone advertising salesman, and if he made good the salary would be from $100 to $150 a week.

George jumped at the chance. He took the course, and is going fine! If you were one of those who used to frequent that Chicago café, don’t regret its closing up. George says the receipt for that gumbo and rice is not lost, as he is going to teach it to Mrs. George-now that he is making enough money to support one!

One of the boys who is being retrained by the Federal Board makes you think of that advertisement of the man who smiles and says with uplifted hand, “Don’t Scream, I can hear you perfectly now.”

For twenty years to have heard every sound from thunder to a mouse scratching around in the cupboard at night, and then suddenly to come out from a spell and spinal meningitis and be surrounded by a silence you can feel, is one war wounds hardest to bear. This boy saw the people about him speaking, and couldn’t tell what they were talking about, and the whole world was like a moving picture with the speaking inserts cut out, -with everything looking natural, but nothing heard!

When he came to the Federal Board for suggestions he told them to put him some place where he would be alone. He didn’t want to see people talking, and wonder his brains out to know if the subject were fire or ball games. The advertiser took a piece of paper and wrote on it, “Well, why can’t you find out?” and then he wrote about how he could learn lip reading, and then though he couldn’t get his old job back, there were bigger ones to be had. What was that old job, anyway?

It seems that he was a clerk in a starch factory, and while he wasn’t in that part of the work he was always interested in the chemical laboratory. Some day, he had hoped he would be transferred to that division. But now-

But now was just the time! That boy was shown how as soon as he learned to hear through his eyes he was going to be given a course in chemistry and physics, and if he wanted to, he had to make his life job that of a bacteriologist instead of a clerk.

  

A Happy Regiment

 Down in camp Shelby, the Twenty-Ninth Infantry is doing “look-see” duty over a demobilization camp.

The Twenty-Ninth was left out of the fighting. It had to do the drab tasks or guard and training.

Yet the men who belong to the Twenty-Ninth seem to think the outfit is fine. It prints a simple little regimental weekly, just a flysheet with personals about the folks who belong, the games they are playing, the things they are doing. It goes to the homes as well as to the tents and squadrons. Old members write letters in, telling how they are getting on and asking questions about the command.

And here is how things come about. One hundred men were discharged in June. Ninety re-enlisted at once. In May, twenty-eight were discharged, and all re-enlisted.

The regiment is taking up vocational training. It is going to have a branch of the “university of khaki.” It is looking forward to getting into permanent garrison rather soon, and even more of a “happy family” than now.

  

Deserter Makes Good And Goes Unpunished

 

For once the iron of military law has been softened by the solvent action of common sense. Four years ago a certain John E. Shea, a private in the Thirtieth Regiment of the United States Infantry, deserted. There is no question that he deserted none that he is guilty of an offense about as serious as a soldier can commit.

But he deserted to Canada, joined a Canadian regiment, went to France, saw active service in France all through the war, and for gallantry in battle was promoted to commissioned rank. Now, honorably discharged from that service, he has returned to the United States and has been awaiting what he considered the inevitable court-martial. Probably he didn’t expect to be shot at sunrise, but it would not have been at all surprising if he had been sent to jail.

Instead, he has been restored to good standing on our army records and is again a private, this time in the Fiftieth Infantry.

John F. Shea is a lucky soldier as well as a good one. It would have been quite natural for somebody with a belief that “regulations are regulations” to punish him for his “crime.”

 

Employer Serves As Good soldier’s Best Man

 Entering the West Side Court as the complainant in an action against Bernard Leonard, his chauffeur, William E. Read, a New York Merchant, made a promise before leaving to be “best man,” or at least one of the guests at Leonard’s wedding.

Leonard, who fought in France with the 69th infantry, was charged by his employer for stealing his automobile during his absence from the city. Mr. Read returned several days before he had planned to, and found no sign of his chauffer or car.

Leonard, it came out in court, was speeding to Connecticut with Helen Gibson, to find someone to marry them when Mr. read returned. When he reached his destination he learned a warrant was out for his arrest and hastened back to New York with his bride-to-be without waiting to be married.

Leonard’s first opportunity to explain presented itself before Magistrate Robert C. Frothingham. When his employer heard the facts he asked to have the complaint withdrawn.

“I want to take Leonard back in my employment. He was a good soldier and quite a good chauffer, and I don’t want to throw any obstacles in the way of his marriage,” he said to the Court. The party then left for the Municipal Building to obtain a license.

 

 Ten A.E.F. Huts In Germany Bear American State Names

During the campaign last fall in the United States for funds for welfare work, it was announced that the huts for the A.E.F. would be named for states going over the top. The headquarters of the Association here has just made public a list of the state huts erected in the Army of Occupation area.

There are ten of these huts in Germany and they are located as follows:

“Arizona,” at Wittlich; “Connecticut,” at Andernach; “Delaware,” at Bittburg; “Mississippi,” at Kiotten; “New Mexico,” at Dernbach; “North Carolina,” at Brohi; “Nevada,” at Kottenheim; “Tennessee,” at Remagen; “Texas,” at Vallendar; and “Utah,” at Poich.

Colored Ranks Filled

 Instructions are being issued by the War Department directing the discontinuance of enlistments for colored infantry. The reason for this action is that the number of authorized enlistments of colored men has already been exceeded. The excess will be removed within the next few months by discharge and furlough to the reserve of those entitled thereto.

 U.S. Government Wants Its Soldiers Inventions

 The War Department authorizes publication of the following information:

The transfer of the Inventions Section from the War Plans Division to the Operations Division is completed by a general order to be published to the Service. Hereafter, communications, regarding inventions, including suggestions, ideas or plans of operation submitted to the government for inspection, test or sale, received from any source, including the public and any office of the War Department, staff, corps, supply depot, or any headquarters of military establishment will be referred directly to “The Inventions Section” Operations Division, General Staff, Washington D.C. All men belonging to the service who have ideas for improvements in any of the material, are notified to submit descriptions freely.

It has come to the attention to the Secretary of War that inventions relating to military affairs made by those in the military service of the United States and in the discharge of their official duties are not being patented by inventors but by certain contractors, who embody these inventions in supplies to the Army after obtaining patents in their own names, and are collecting royalties for same.

The above action is illegal and has resulted in material loss to the Government. All heads of departments, chiefs of bureaus, or other agencies of the War department having to do with the making and enforcement of contracts, are directed to consider Act of July 1, 1918, which amends Act of June 25, 1910, which extends remedy afforded patentees by suit in Court of Claims fro compensation for use of their inventions.

The heads of departments, bureaus, etc., are directed to take necessary steps to protect the Government by assisting employees to establish their rights to inventions, making full reports of the facts in each case.

It is also directed that hereafter all communications regarding their rights to inventions and patents originating in military service other than Staff Corps and Supply Bureaus, be forwarded to Patents Section, Purchase Branch, Office of the Director of Purchase, Storage and Traffic Division, General Staff, Washington, D.C., except communications regarding inventions or devices submitted to the Government for inspection, etc., from a technical standpoint,  received in the War Department, shall be referred to Inventions Section, Operations Division, General Staff, Washington, D.C., as heretofore.

 Pointers

 A discharge to accept a commission where acceptance of a commission is a condition upon which discharge is granted, should not be considered a discharge from the army, the War Department, as in such case there is not a complete separation from the service and persons discharged under such conditions are not entitled to receive gratuity until they resign or are discharged from their commissions.

This applies to cases in which discharge is obtained only because a promise is made to accept a commission or other appointment immediately and the person is not at liberty thereupon to refuse to continue his military status.

The term “separation from the service” as used in the third paragraph, section 1406 Revenue Act of February 24, 1919, supra, refers to separation caused by being discharged under “honorable conditions or in case of reservists being placed on inactive duty, etc., as will result in complete termination of current term of enlistment or service.

If discharge does not terminate an enlisted man’s “current enlistment or term of service” he is not entitled to bonus.

Re-enlistment after being unconditionally discharged does not deprive soldier of bonus; discharge upon condition of accepting appointment as Army Field Clerk does not entitle soldier to bonus. However, when he resigns or is discharged from such appointment and his separation is under honorable conditions he is then entitled to bonus. Discharge of an enlisted man on condition of accepting a commission in the Regular Army does not entitle him to bonus. A commissioned officer who resigns or is discharged under honorable conditions is entitled to bonus.

 

 

 

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