Letters Home: James Harrington

From the January 10, 1918 Skidmore News, page 1:

From James D. Harrington.

Through the kindness of Mrs. Ed Harrington, we are privileged to print the following from a letter received by her from her son who the letter shows to be well pleased with military life.

Great Lakes, Chicago, Ill.  Jan. 1.

Dear Mother: —

I received your most welcome letter and also the kumfy kit, it sure was nice and I thank you from the bottom of my heart, yes I sure will take the best care of it.

It was too bad about poor Frank Sloper.

It is snowing something fierce here today, snowed almost all day.

We had a real New Years dinner, turkey, dressing, peas, bread and butter, pie and apples and all we could eat.

Tell cousin Frank if he knew what I do, he would not hesitate to join us, no not for one minute.  It is going to take men and money to win this terrible war, and I don’t think that any one old enough to go had ought to hesitate to go, for it is all for this country.

I wish you could see the Jackies up here, they care only for their country and their folks.

Tell uncle David if he comes up to see me I will try and show him a time and that he would not want to leave until the war is over.

Yes I received the check all right.

I went over to see Douglas Haynes this morning, but he had gone home on a furlough.

I guess I will not get to come home, very soon as I am going to attend the gunners school, and then I will be put on a gun cruiser, as gunner’s mate.  I am in the Y. M. C. A. writing this letter.  It sure is a nice place.  We have a piano, victrola and all kinds of games.

This is the best place in the world for a man to learn to be a man, one has to keep clean all the time, cannot use tobacco, cannot get anything to drink but water and coffee.  I don’t believe you would hardly know me if I have only been here three weeks.

I think I will be a real man after all.

Our officers put our boating cruise off for a time, as it is too cold on the lake for anything.

Well I will close for this time.  Love to all, Your son, James D. Harrington, Camp Dewey, Reg. 1, Co. 11, Barracks 125 South, Great Lakes, Illinois.