Clarence Malone, Kansas representative of the USO, has mailed a comprehensive report of USO activities to all members of the organization.
Lyon county is one of the 37 counties which launched its drive and went over the top early. Some of the counties are getting their drives under way now. Each county which has made a concerted effort has reached their quota. For everyone wants the men in the armed forces to have a good time when on leave. USO stands ready to furnish clean entertainment and recreation.
More than 500 elevators cooperated with the state committee in accepting donations of wheat – “a bushel or so for the USO.” Reports from these elevators are now beginning to come in. In some counties where elevators could not furnish storage facilities and wheat was stored on farms or in unused buildings, the county USO committee sent out trucks. Each truck came in loaded with wheat for the USO. Again and again one hears the comment, “this is the least we can do.”
Do the boys like USO? Ask any neighbor boy home on leave or a khaki clad stranger whom you meet. If he has been around the country at all he will tell you about the USO club in Louisville, in New Orleans or Long Beach. Men can go to these clubs for a quiet time of reading and writing letters or for a gala evening of dancing and games. It is the place to go if you want to meet good looking girls. Each USO club has a hospitality committee which sees that men in service are invited out to dinner. In short the USO endeavors to provide a home-away-from-home for men on leave.
USO started from scratch a little more than a year ago. Now there is a county organization in one hundred of the counties in Kansas. There are 842 operations in the United States, and forty-one operations overseas. Each week new operations are being set up. Already clubs are functioning in Junction City, Manhattan and Leavenworth. Approvals have been granted by the National committee for Topeka, Salina, Gardner and Coffeyville. As other camps are made ready USO operations may be expected.
Boys from all corners of the United States and from the United Nations will be sent to various camps in Kansas for air training. Kansas is an agricultural state and farm families can make a definite and unique contribution to the USO effort, if they cooperate by inviting trainees into their homes for week-end leaves.
Some day the peace will come – the peace for which we are now striving. It will be more likely to be a just and durable peace if the people from the corners of the earth know one another. It is only a little thing to entertain a stranger in khaki for Sunday dinner. Yet one bit of hospitality multiplied many times could mean the friendship or hostility of nations. The stories that come back to us of the warm hospitality our boys are receiving in Australia should be an example to us.
Let us show the stranger within our borders what farm hospitality means. If and when we get an air base at Emporia this will be one contribution you and I can make.