October, 1945

Machinists' Monthly Journal


(A reprint from the Yankee Boomer; a'newspaper for the personnel of the Military Railway Service in Europe.) By CHAPLAIN HENNING Recently a reporter back home was assigned form—are proud of you. They're griping about to "tail" a returned ETO veteran during the things that will seem small to you—even as we first few days after his arrival. The kid's griped about things that seemed ridiculous to reactions were perfectly normal, even, I'm Infantrymen. Maybe they won't roll out the red afraid, to his sighing allusions as to how tough carpet on the day you arrive, but then neither things were "over there" whenever he was will you be out strewing flowers on the street within earshot of civilians who were acting when the 34th or 36th or 3rd comes marchas though they weren't aware that "there's ing by. a war going on." It's all relative. No one can really underReading the account of that assignment re- stand the problems of the other fellow—even called some of the letters we all received as if he wanted to. There's no question that we'll long as two years ago from friends who had all be mighty glad to get home. By our tact, returned to the States and were burned up by our courtesy, our consideration for the feelings the way they were frequently shoved around of others, we can make sure that those who in home-front camps. At that time I was so never left will be glad we've returned. non-plussed by the tales I heard of apparent discrimination against returned soldiers that I wrote to some of my friends still back there to A CHALLENGE FROM BRITAIN ask "How come?" Their answers were prompt To arms! To arms! The British are coming, and candid. "War experience," they said, "didn't necessarily improve either the mind or the man- or perhaps we should say, to your boards, you ners of some men, and the natural reaction of chess and checker players, the blawsted British home-front GI's to those who were everlast- Engineers have been eating raw meat. The letter ;below tells the whole story to all ingly slapping themselves on the back because who know chess or checker playing by mail and their names had been 'pulled out of the hat' to go overseas was to fight back in any way they to those who have had the enjoyable experience could." And as is always the case in such mat- of playing with a kindled soul in some other ters, the great majority suffered for the sins part of the world the challenge should prove ' of the tactless minority. I think we can all see a welcomerhappenstance. the human nature of their reaction, that is, the The Challenge home-front reaction. We all hate being made 32 Brodrick Grove to feel like "dopes" by people who had as little Abbey Wood S. E. 2 London, England . to do with their status as we did with our own. "July 6, 1945 Thousands of "rails" will be going back home Dear Sir: during the months that lie ahead. Men resplen- "Greetings":wish of the Amalgamated Engineering It is the dent in ETO blouses, with four, five, and six Union Chess and Checker Mail Players of England to gold stripes on their sleeves, maybe even more play a Correspondence "Victory" Match-with their trade in stars on their Campaign Ribbon, and many with kindredvictory" in America, to commemorate our hard-won decorations. To you all we say, "Mod- "greathave already Europe.a team of 250 Chess and 50 We raised esty will become you." We who know you know Checker players (this could possibly be increased) we require is the addresses, inwhat essentially "right guys" you are. We— and all playing strength, ofnames andside in America cluding similar the only ones who can really understand—know —and, the Match commencesa immediately. how rough it has been at times, how homesick Could you help to make this proposal a reality, and lonely you could get after two and three thereby cementing theinbonds of friendship with the Engineering Workers both our lands? years away from home. We know, and you've We suggest you announce our wishes in your established yourselves in our affections forever. "Magazine"—a side be recruited through a medium You can go home and forget everything about 'of a games captain—the necessary to be dispatched. and the games the experience of the past few years if you making contact. are in full swing—the British side want to. Just remember the friends you've With best wishes, and every success. Yours fraternally, made. But don't under any circumstances, even R. J. SMITH allow yourselves to think—much less say—that (For and on behalf of the A. E. U. Mail Players). you did more than you should have done, or Chess and Checkers (or Draughts) have no that you're somehow more entitled to' "extra nationality and therefore, aside from the keen handling" than, say Sgt. Printwhistle, who enjoyment to be had from either game, they fought his war at Claiborne. are especially adapted for international rivalry. If you're going home with a sense of having No statistics exist as to the number of Chess done your best, in the job assigned to you, in or Checker enthusiasts in the I. A. of M., but the Theater to which you were sent, then you there must be many who will.be intrigued by have your own reward. No intelligent, conscien- the opportunity to play with a brother matious citizen could ask for more than the assur- chinist (engineer) in Britain. All that is reance that, when he was called upon, he served quired is a knowledge of the game as the player his country honestly and well. And the people will be matched according to his own rating. back home—how many homes do you know in There are four classes, A, B, C, and D, with which some member of the family isn't in uni(Continued on page 3E7)

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