Rest__American Red Cross
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is the link between home and the army. It has functioned as such while the men were in garrison but especially during their time overseas. Mr. A. Dana Burnett was the American Red Cross Field Director for the 304th Infantry. In addition to this he also headed the Division Red Cross office and his face was familiar to many of the oldest members of the Division as far back as the time of its activation. T/5 Alfred Heilman, who had served for a long while in B Company, came to the A.R.C. office while the regiment was in England and brought with him an intimate knowledge of the many and intricate problems which are the lot of the American dough-foot. He served as Mr. Burnett's assistant from that time until the moment of the deactivation of the regiment and division.
All sizes, shapes and forms of personal and family problems were handled by this office. Many at home were worried through not receiving mail from husbands, sons or brothers--and, by the same token, some of the men in the regiment were just as apt to put in requests for "health and welfare" reports through the Home Chapters. Every day radiograms arrived concerning both officers and enlisted men. It was the custom, with these, to turn them over to the proper Chaplain in order to reach the service-man concerned through the fastest possible channel. Each letter or wire reaching the 304th Red Cross was processed the very day of arrival, but with the continual change of address of soldiers who had been hospitalized or transferred a terrific amount of additional work was required. This was especially true during combat.
The morale of the men was of prime concern. During combat, mail clerks, supply sergeants, kitchen help, men coming back from their companies, and everyone or everything returning from the front lines where there had been contact with the combat personnel were, used as sources of information in order to discover, and to pin-point exactly the things which the fighting men needed and wanted. During March, April and May of 1945, 80,000 A.R.C. sheets of stationery were given to the men of the regiment. In addition to this 65,000 sheets of captured German writing paper were distributed. Many and many other personal items beyond the possibility of listing or description were sent forward to the men. Those who called at the Red Cross office were supplied immediately--and the men who were fortunate enough at times to go on leave to Paris or to other furlough spots could always count on receiving toilet articles and other little odds and ends which are normally forgotten in the rush of such a trip. On the average, thirty-five different items were distributed monthly, not in huge quantities but always in sufficient amount to satisfy the immediate needs and requests.
And, never to be forgotten, are the Red Cross girls whose cheerful faces and bright chatter brought something--or rather, much--of home to the men. It was always nice to know that the Clubmobile was on its way!
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don't always have wings--or harps--and sometimes they have smudges of dirt on their part little noses!
How far can a donut go?--as far as a rifleman does and as far as the flour and sugar and coffee hold out! The GI knows that the CLUBMOBILE is part of the war--no good, self-respecting war could possibly be complete without it. These ware
ARC's, "forward elements," as important in their function and "lift" as the field
office, just a little way behind!
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