NEWS FROM OVERSEAS
 Luxembourg, March, 1919
 
 Dear Mother:
 
 From the day I landed on foreign soil, I have lived for everyone, but
 myself. I went without food to give the other fellow something to eat,
 and went without drink so the other fellow could drink.  Four  weeks
 later found me in the front trenches and four weeks later found me
 making my first "hop over."  We lined up on taps and every man was given
 an equal chance for his life.  The machine gun bullets cut the grass
 around my feet, but I never quinched or moved an inch.  The concussion
 from the cannons seemed to tear the flesh from my bones, every inch of
 the air was singing with red hot steel.  I thought the world had gone
 mad.  Then came the order,  "Forward."  I pulled back the bolt in my
 rifle and shoved my bayonet forward, and side by side we waded to the
 chin in this living death.  Men fell on all sides of me; I stopped but
 could not help them, so on I went.  The bullets screeched and tore the
 air, shrapnel hit my steel helmet and it rang for minutes afterwards. 
 Here and there men fell on the battlefield; my throat had dried and was
 almost cracking from the powder in the air.  I would have given my right
 arm or leg for just one mouthful of water.  Then the alarm
 came--"gas"--but some of us were too slow and fell before they could get
 their gas mask on.  A German machine gun nest opened on me from my
 right.  I dropped to the ground.  I spotted a clump of bushes, and I
 knew they were located there.  I had two bombs in each pocket.  The
 grass was about two feet high.  If I could only get upon them from the
 rear, I thought, I could blow them two yards from h--- with one of the
 bombs in my pocket.  I started out; crawled inch by inch on my stomach;
 they spotted the grass moving and opened up on me again.  I hugged the
 earth closer than I ever hugged it before.  I could hear the moans of
 men all over the field.  I tried again--20 feet more and they would
 never shoot another shell.  I made it, drew the bomb, pulled the ring,
 got a good grip on it, raised up on my feet and let her go.  The aim was
 good and it did its work.  They call us "doughboys," but we are the only
 branch of the service that have been in actual fighting and we all feel
 proud of  that name.  We reached our objective; there were very few of
 us left, but we shook each other's hands, fell on one another, we were
 so tickled that we had got what we were after.  Sounds like a nightmare,
 doesn't it?  No, it is not a dream, only an outline of one of the "hop
 overs" I have been in.  Well, mother, this is all for this time, and
 hope this finds you well.  Am feeling fine.  Love to all.  As ever,
 
 Your loving son,
 Delbert
 
 
 Address, Pvt. Delbert A. Symonds
 Co. B, 132nd Infantry
 Mrs. Symonds of 3729 North Drake Avenue has received word that her son
 is on his way to the good old U.S.A."