Saturday Tidbits

Nemaha County American Legion provides ‘send off’ for first draftees called into service in February 1941.

Legion to Honor
Draftees at Bern

Nemaha county Legionnaires
will honor 1941 draftees just as
the Old Soldiers of the Civil War
honored the Boys of ’17 and ’18
That was decided at a meeting of
the Legion at Centralia. Next
county meeting will be held at
Bern. The next contingent of the
draft will be escorted to Bern by
the ex-service men and there will
be an appropriate program.
Earle W. Taylor Post gave an
oyster supper tot he Auxiliary at
the club rooms here Thursday
nigh, an informal and highly en-
joyed evening. Legionnaires pre-
pared the oysters and trimmings.

“Legion to Honor Draftees at Bern,” Courier Tribune. page 2, 27 Jan 1941. Available online.

Boys of ‘17;
Boys of ‘41

United at Bern

The Legion in a Send-
Off to Next
Monday’s Selectees

The boys of ‘17 had a chance Monday night to see just how robust they were when Uncle Sam drafted them to go to the first World war. In comparison wit the huskies who leave early Monday morning to answer the call of the country, Old Elmer of the American Legion finds himself bog spavined and windbroken.

It all happened in Bern Monday night when 85 Legionnaires,
who belong to six posts in this county, joined in wishing the recruits happy landings. If the real truth is known — and Acting County Commander Harley E. Wilcox expressed the thought the Old soldiers feel their noses are out of joint.

“We are envious of the youth that lets you go,” said Wilcox. “We sincerely hope that you will not be called into conflict but if it does come to that we want you to know we are behind you 100 per cent. There is something in army service that inspires a man — more than anything else on earth — to love of country and we know you too will feel the thrill of the Old Red, White and Blue.”

Only five of the 14 selectees were in Bern Monday night but it was explained that the demands on the time of the boys are so heavy this week that some found they could not fill all their dates, considering too, their datings.

Andy Strahm, Bern commander, who was a member of the first contingent of five men which went to Camp Funston on the first draft in ‘17, opened Monday night’s proceedings and ordered the flag advanced.

Scott Berridge, Holton, who is expected to be a candidate for Kansas department commander next fall, gave the principal address. After urging all ex-service men to register in next Saturday’s enrollment, Mr. Berridge, held close attention, by his eloquence. He feels the Legion has no apology to make for its 22 year contribution to American thought but he also thinks the organization should adapt itself to the rapidly changing events of the day.

“As a matter of fact,” he said, “The Legion is only at the threshold of its influence for Americans may soon be called up to make sober decisions which may profoundly affect what we are pleased to call the American way of life.”

Berridge traced the beginnings of the American way in the Declaration of Confederation, te Constitution and the Bill of Rights; called attention to freedom of assembly, speech and press and the right of petition and inquired where on the continent of Europe such privileges exist today. He thinks America again faces a crisis in the breaking of pledges and treaties. He believes the mission of the Legion is to cultivate a group mind among Americans that will stamp out subversive influences for all time.

“America,” he told the Legion, “stands as the last stronghold of human liberties. We have been too materialistic. We need to remind ourselves that the individual is more important than dividends.

“Our national debt is appalling,” he said, “and yet I am more afraid of bankrupt ideals than I am of bankrupt economy.”

Berridge cautioned the selectees not to allow themselves to be dismayed by the little hardships of army life. “Some of you will probably not care for it but others will come to love it. The public will be watching you,” he said, “and deeply concerned in your welfare. you are conditioning your minds and bodies for the preservation — if need be — of those things which re dearer than life itself.”

Harold Geiger, Sabetha, implored Legionnaires to buy uniforms. The Legion full dress outfit can not be obtained for 412.

The county Legion will meet in Sabetha early in April, the March meeting to be skipped. The district convention will be held in Atchison May 4th and 5th.

“We’re a Little Envious,” They Say

Legionnaires of the associated Nemaha county posts, gave their younger buddies a “send off” in a meeting at Bern Monday night. Acting Commander Harley E. Wilcox, addressing the Boys of ‘41, confessed some degree of envy of their youth and their opportunity to defend the Old Flag.

Shown standing in this picture left to right, are five Nemaha county selectees. Four of the five are to report for duty at midnight Sunday, leaving at 2:00 a.m. eastbound for the reception center at Leavenworth. They are Robert G. Adriance, Seneca; Gerald Wempe, Seneca; Cyril Olberding, Baileyville; and Clarence Hazlett, Onaga. Homer Turner, Oneida, fifth in this row, probably will not get to go with this contingent, being at the foot of the list and displaced by volunteers.

The Legionnaires shown above are: second row, left to right: Edward R. Levick, post commander, Seneca; Scott Berridge, Holton, who stands a good show of being the next department commander of Kansas; Harley E. Wilcox, county adjutant. Bottom row, Ray Condit, post commander, Centralia; Andy Strahm, post commander, Bern.

“Boys of ’17. Boys of ’41, United at Bern,” The Courier Tribune, 20 Feb 1941, page 2. Available online.