Leaving Home

After three and half months in Lincoln, the Regimental Band is ordered to Deming, New Mexico. Here LeRoy describes the day he left for Deming. It is a touching description of a young man leaving his family for an uncertain future. A sentiment one can assume is felt by all the soldiers leaving for training and then eventually to war.

September Fourteenth (1917)

Some of the companies of the Sixth were to train before us, and it was our solemn duty to parade down O Street and escort them to the station, where they entrained for Deming.

Our minutes at home could not be counted. We were excused until eleven forty-five, so we drove home, and ate my last little lunch at home. As much as one dislikes to do it, the goodbye must be said, when one goes away. It was harder, I am sure, on the home folks for us to leave than it was for us. We all felt somehow that we were obeying them proper impulse, and in spite of the fact that we hated to go – we went.

The whistle blew, and we were off, down O Street on our last march in Lincoln. There were several hundred people at the station. Mama and Papa were there, but they left before the train in order that they might see us pass North Thirty-Third Street. While it was a hard farewell, the tug at the heart strings was far harder when the train passed my parents at Thirty-Third Street; Mama was sadly waving – almost automatically – a small silk flag I had given her, and Dad stood staring at the train, and stiffly waving his hat.