The following are stories I recall Dr. John E. Schroeder telling about his experiences in World War I. They are too few! I wish only that he had talked more about the war after I joined the family in 1974, toward the end of his life.
One Christmas season they boys went out to "enjoy themselves." John Schroeder was the only one who did pt drink, so he was responsible for getting everyone back on the truck so they could return to camp. As time to leave drew nearer, Private Schroeder would corral one of the "happy partiers" and put him on the truck. As soon as he did, 2 would jump off. It took him nearly all night to get them all on the truck so they could return to camp. For his efforts, he was nick named "SISTER SCHROEDER."
When I asked him why his letters and post cards home all sounded so cheery, he would tell me that they might be dug into a fox hole with shells screaming over head and exploding all around them. They HAD to write that "everything is fine" since the the censors read all out going mail and would not allow any accurate accounts of what was happening. This was to keep up the moral of those at home.
Sometimes he would recount an instance when he and some friends were in a foxhole with shells exploding around them. He decided to go visit some other friends in a "neighboring foxhole." When he returned, he found that a shell had landed in the foxhole he had first occupied, and all who were in it were now dead. That was a close call!
ARMY TABLE MANNERS
He would give us young folk advice on things like "What to do if you have a particularly good dessert." He told us that, in the army, if you had a good dessert, you should SPIT ON IT, then no one would take it from you!
He also told us not to despair if we didn't have a fork! He would hold up his hand and tell us to use our "ARMY FORKS." (our fingers).