When you see a man with a black, oval-shaped background for his star and Indian head and your curiosity prompts you to ask him to what unit he belongs, and he proudly answers: "The Second Mobile Ordnance Repair Shop," don't look dumbfounded and say you did not know they were in the Second Division. That is, don't say it in public, because the man you are talking to is sure to be mighty proud of his organization, and it makes him feel bad when you talk that way where other people hear it.
Many of you probably did not know we were in the war. Well, we never had to dig holes for our protection, but boys we ran like h—1 a few times to holes that someone else had dug. At Suippes, for instance, one night about 2 o'clock you could have found us, dressed and undressed, in all parts of the town, looking for holes.
And as a further proof that we are in the army—the Y. M. C. A., Red Cross and everybody has found us down here at Neider Hammerstein, making life a little more pleasant for us by furnishing sweets and entertainment, one form of the latter being movies on Friday nights. A few nights ago we had Doug Fairbanks and Terry McGovern. The latter, of course, has been dead for about three years, but it was a good show anyway. You know that smile of Doug's—some smile, isn't it? But wouldn't you like to see him stuck over here along the Rhine as a buck private for about eight months and watch that smile fade away? Anybody can smile under his conditions. but you fellows with no "strings" pulling back home and still smiling have Doug's smile beat a mile.
More entertainment which comes our way is the religious service which we have in our Wirtschaft. Our man is necessarily a very interesting talker. We say "necessarily," because if he lags the least bit in his talk, the thirsty ones begin to roll their eyes around, and have visions of bottles promenading on the tables. You look at them, wondering what they are concentrating their eyes upon, when all of a sudden you see it—the same intoxicating vision which is attracting their attention.
Every now and then you hear a man sniff. No, he is not crying because the speaker is talking in pathetic tones, but he is imagining that some fraulein with her bar rag is wiping the table at his elbow. However, he feels a certain degree of sadness because he is thinking that when he returns to his favorite haunts in America, the bar rooms will have passed into the same droll existence which now bears upon our Wirtschaft.