Frank Barrett, Bread and Meat Department

From the May 30, 1918 Skidmore News, page 8:

Put Me In Bread and Meat Department

This is the war assignment desired by Frank Barrett, of Skidmore.

Frank is a married man and has three children, however he did not think that their dependence on him was sufficient to keep him out of the army, so he claimed exemption because he was a merchant.

The deputy legal adviser informed him that he could not be exempted because he was a merchant, but that he could be exempted because his wife and children are dependent on him. Frank couldn’t see it that way, but gave in to the argument thrust at him by the adviser. According to the adviser, however, Frank did not seem to believe that he had any chance to stay out of the army, since he could not be exempted because he was a merchant and went through the following conversation with the adviser in great seriousness and consternation.

The legal adviser had reached the place in the questionnaire where Frank was asked which of the several branches of the service he would prefer to serve in. “If in the army, Frank, what branch of the service would you rather serve in, artillery, aviation, engineer corps, infantry, medical department, ordinance department, or quartermaster’s corps?

“Explain that,” was the reply.

“Well, in the artillery, the horses draw cannon where the balls are flying fast, and sometimes the soldiers have to pull both the cannon and the horses.”

“I don’t want that.”

“The aviation section is for those who are too proud to stay on the ground and want to get in the air and fight.”

“No sir, I don’t want that.”

“A soldier in the engineer corps has to build roads right where the bullets are flying thickest.”

“I don’t want that.”

“Men in the infantry go on the battlefield and bring in the wounded,” drawled the advisor sadly.

“Go on, I don’t want that.”

“The ordinance department carries cannon balls and bullets to the men who shoot them at the enemy.”

“I don’t want that.”

“The quartermasters corps carries the bread and meat to the men fighting.”

“Put me down here, I’ll take that.”

E. S. Hester.

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