From: St. Louis
I've been reading David McCullough's Truman and I thought many of you would get a kick out of the following paragraph. It references a friend Harry made at Camp Doniphan (near Ft. Sill) in 1917 before shipping out to France.
The closest friend, however, was First Lieutenant Ted Marks, who was nothing like the rest of the Missouri men, but an Englishman with what seemed a natural military bearing, a pleasant, open face, and protruding ears. Two years older than Harry, Marks was a Kansas City tailor in civilian life whose beautiful custom-made suits sold for as much as $75. He had been born in Liverpool, ran away from home at age sixteen, and served three years in the Grenadier Guards before coming to America. He and Harry had first met more than ten years earlier, in 1906, when Marks walked into the National Guard offices to join up and found a bespectacled young corporal named Truman officiating behind the desk. As Marks would always remember, Harry had asked him how long he had been in the country. Marks said six months and Harry responded, "You speak pretty good English for the time you've been here," which led Marks to wonder what sort of a country he had come to after all.
In case any of you think he saw little action, on one occasion when his battery was receiving counter-battery fire from the Germans, a German shell killed the horse he was riding. He fell into a ditch and the horse fell on top of him. When he was pulled from under the horse, he let fly with more profanity than his men had heard from him to date. This event occured in the Vosges mountains (at night).