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Articles & Local History > WWI letter written by Ward Dow

Submitted by Les Niemi

WWI letter written by Ward DOW

Tampico Tornado: July 19, 1917


In a letter to his father, June 17, he wrote, I am well and am stronger and can stand more than I ever thought of standing before. If any one had tried to hire me to walk seven hours every day, with a nine pound rifle, and one hundred rounds of ammunition, and a bayonet, I would have laughed at them. I would judge that my cartridge belt with ammunition and bayonet weighs about 20 lbs. The drill ground is a big rough piece of ground without a tree or bit of grass on it, nothing but sand and rocks. There is where we spend seven hours a day with rifle on shoulder and belt full of cartridges. There is always a wind out here so that helps a whole lot. In answer to your question about staying in this country, I think I will be here about two months and the go to France. The bunch here are a happy lot most of the time, and as far as I am concerned, I want to go as soon as we are drilled enough so that we can fight. The only thing so far is, I had a nose bleed the first few days I was here, but they all have that, it is so dry here. It seems funny when you mention rain, we don't know what that is here. The only kind of storm we have here is sand storm. I get every thing I want in the line of tobacco, cigars, ice cream, pop and candy. Writing paper, pens and ink or pencil. Cookies and everythng in that line. Each company has a little store of its own. It is called the Canteen. We buy what we want and have it charged and it is taken out of our pay. I haven't had Government pay day yet, but I have about fifteen dollars left of what I brought with me. Tell the boys in the shop that if they join the Army it will make men out of them if there is any chance at all. It just came up on the bulletin board that we go on the rifle range next Wednesday. I guess I will close for this time. (By Mrs. Chas. WEST.)

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