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Mail Tribune 100, May 8, 1920

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

May 8, 1920


The winner of the gold medal in the national school contest for the best essay on “The Benefits of Enlistment in the United States Army” was Donald L. Campbell, a fifteen year old student in the junior class of the Clinton, Iowa, high school. His essay is as follows:

As Horace Greely once said “Young man, go west!” we now say, “Young man, join the army!” Why? It is the big opportunity of the age.

Are you physically weak?

Health is the first wealth, and the army is a health builder. It provides wholesome food, clean, comfortable quarters and surroundings, proper clothing and medical attention, when necessary. Physical exercise is compulsory, and every encouragement is given athletics. These, with outdoor life, make men straight, strong and healthy.

Do you seek an education?

You can attend school at any army post or camp and study grammar and high school subjects.

Would you learn a trade?

The government has recently appropriated $2,000,000 for the establishment and maintenance of vocational schools where you can learn to be a mechanic, auto repair man, electrician, telegraph operator, chemist or almost anything else you wish. These courses prepare you for a return to civil life or continued service in the army.

Do you long for travel and adventure?

Join the army. You can be an engineer at the Panama canal, a wireless operator in the Philippines, a lineman in Alaska, or an aviator flying in the clouds. Whenever possible the government gives you a choice of station.

In the army you can travel, learn and earn at the same time.

You may thing army pay low. In addition to the $30 a month, Uncle Same pays for your food, clothing, rent, light and fuel. With the present high cost of living why not leave all the worries to Uncle Sam? After thirty years’ service you can retire on three-fourths pay plus $15.75 a month. The army is not all work and frilling. There are movies, libraries, games, dances, and music; furloughs when conditions permit.

Do you admire courage, honesty, square dealing, resolution and tenacity of purpose? You will find these qualities in men like Washington, Grant, Sherman, Roosevelt and Pershing — men developed in our army.

This training of body, mind and soul and these opportunities for education, travel and adventure are more than sufficient reasons for joining, the army, but there is another and greater motive for donning the “Olive Drab.” Do you love your country and would you be worthy of her? You must be willing to serve her both in war and peace.

Have you, like Nathan Hale, one life to give for your country? If so, join the army.

News from 100 years ago