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The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, February 09, 1918, Image 30

Image and text provided by New York State Military History Museum

Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn87030234/1918-02-09/ed-1/seq-30/


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28 THE WADSWORTH GAS ATTACK a n d RIO GRANDE RATTLER Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe, Four Top-Sergeants s ta n d in g in a row; Each one tries to do his best, To learn Squads East, North, South and W e s t. It fills a private’s soul w ith glee, To see them drilled at the O. T. C. WHY SMILEAGE BOOKS FOR SOL­ DIERS’ ENTERTAINMENTS? The W ar D e p a rtm e n t’s Answer to a Most Im p o rtant Question. An arm y recruited by draft includes the best young men of the nation. The off hours of these young men are the loneliest hours of their camp life. If those hours are to be pleasantly and healthfully filled th e r e m u s t be provided not only places to w rite and read, but perform a n c e s of the grade to which the men are accustom ed at home and opportunities for them to de­ velop and exhibit th e ir own skill. Accordingly, the Council will present at th e Camp th e a tres— Broadw ay com panies in the best theatrical successes of the season. The best m u sical and vaudeville program s obtainable. Lectures of the highest excellence. A m ateur perform a n c e s by the men them ­ selves. Low Cost to Soldiers. O rdinarily the cost of booking such a ttrac ­ tions would be prohibitive. But as the gov­ ernm e n t built the th e a tres and supplies the light, heat and m anager, the overhead ex­ penses have been reduced to a minimum. As a result, the cost of these perform a n c e s will range from ten cents to twenty-five cents a seat. Yet many soldiers will not be able to a t ­ tend many perform a n c e s at these prices. Thousands of them are sending home prac­ tically all their pay. On the other hand, practically every sol­ dier has those at home who strongly desire to contribute into his arm y life som ething of wholpsome and cheerful entertainm e n t. Therefore this council originated a type of book of tickets th a t m e m b ers of the soldier’s fam ily and his friends may send to him at the front. They are called Smile- age Books and will be m ade up of coupons som e w h at like the m ileage books of the railroads. Tw o Sizes of Books. In books of one size 20 coupons will be sold for a dollar. In books of another size 100 will be sold for five dollars. These coupons will be good for paym e n t for seats at any perform a n c e in any camp theatre under the direction of the Commission on Training Camp A ctivities. As gifts these Smileage Books will have 251-POUND SOLDIER. D raft Board of Appeals Sends Him Back to Camp Upton. The D raft Board of Appeals in New York has sentenced H e n ry Gemuth, of Richmond Hill, to go back to Camp Upton, even though he does w eight 251 pounds. Gemuth was selected in the first draft call, but after three days at Upton was sent back because of his weight. Now he has been recertified in Class A -l. “I’m optim istic,” said H e n ry when he heard the verdict. “I figure th a t if they give me enough trip s back and forth it will reduce me down to true fighting v/eight. But, gee,” he added sadly, “it looks as if even the governm e n t doesn’t love a fat m an.” In variance w ith Gemuth, who w ants to fight, was Leland P. Mounts, who doesn’t. He is private secretary to Sergt. A rthur Guy Empey, a real scrapper, and incident­ ally an author. He pleaded to M eier Stein- brink of the board to be exempted, as he was very busy “stim u lating patriotic en­ thusiasm .” “By the way, your boss w rote a book, didn’t he?” asked Mr. Steinbrink, of Mounts. “Yes.” “W h a t was it called?” “ 'Over the Top.’ ” “W ell,” said Mr. Steinbrink, “you’d better read it, because th a t’s w h e re you’re going.” rath e r a distinctive character. Each tim e the soldier tears coupons from his book he will renew his sense of attention from the sender. Every book will constitute a cu r ­ ren t of interest betw een the m an at the front and the folks back home. Often, of course, one soldier will receive many books; and then he will do the thing which is characteristic of the A m erican soldier throughout our history—he will share his abundance w ith his m ates. The result will he to change a danger period in the life of the soldier into a period of healthful relaxation and refresh­ ment. Smileage Solves Problem. The problem has been two-sided—to get program s for the th e a tres and to get tickets into the hands of the soldiers a t prices which will m e e t the operating expense. The operating expense is borne by the tickets in the Smileage Books, paid for by the fam ilies, the employers, the com pany of friends of the men back home. As soon as it can be arranged, this c ir ­ cuit may be widened to include the sm a ller arm y cam ps and the navy training stations. Beyond all this, though A m erica has not yet been required to realize it, lies the prospect of an entirely separate circuit in France and Belgium, larger perhaps th a n all of these at home. The Sm ileage Books are your m eans of m aking this possible for your men.

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