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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, July 20, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 2

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-07-20/ed-1/seq-2/

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from San Antonio to the army post.
If the Germans knew Britishers
were treating the families of their
soldiers as we are treating ours, or
vice versa, the fact would be bla
zoned world-wide as an indication of
governmental cruelty by the enemy.
It's not cruelty on our part, only
oversight, and the lesson we've
learned has cost unhappiness and
embarrassment in many American
If an American correspondent
learned from a British soldier what I
learned today from Frank Shepkow
Bki, my first American soldier, he
would break the British censorship to
get the story to the world. Shep
kowski, of Company H, 2d 111. infan
try, will march up the steps of his
little home at 1452 Emma sL, Chi
cago, within a couple of days, give
his wife a hug and say: "Well, I'm
home." He's got a check from Uncle
Sam for $67.72, and if he's careful
after paying his fare he ought to
have about $20 to hand over to Mrs.
Shepkowski. He was born in Po
land, but his term of enlistment ex
pired today, his militia career wind
ing up with a blazing two weeks' hol
iday here in Texas.
It was from Shepkowski that I got
my first inkling that thousands of
Americans here who were snatched
suddenly from their families in the
little breeze of war which struck
America three weeks ago are worry
ing about folks back home and won
dering whether they are getting food
and other necessities of life.
"It wasn't so bad with me," said
Shepkowski, "because my wife is "a
dressmaker and I could quit my glove
cutter's job and go to the front with
out her starving, but there are lots of
fellows whose wives don't work and
they're worried stiff."
There were thousands of tragedies
as grim as many in Europe in Amer
ican homes three weeks ago which
are just coming to light here on the
border. Gen. Funston and his staff
officers are hearing them. Shepkow-1
1 ski put his finger on the greatest
present fault with the American
army plan.
"Can a man be a good soldier and
do good work if he's wondering
whether his family at home has
enough to eat?" I asked Gen. Fun
ston after leaving the jitney and
making my way to his office.
The general, whose perspiring
head was leaving patches of damp
ness on the leather back of the huge
chair in which he sat, leaned forward,
saying earnestly: "Of course not I .
permitted 14 men to 'return home
yesterday because their dependents ;
were suffering, and I have so many -requests
for relief on like grounds
that it will prove necessary to re
lease several thousands within the
next few weeks.
"These men are given that 3
cents mileage , homeward. Money
which has been spent in bringing "
them to the border, feeding them and
outfitting them, and then, after two "
weeks, sending them back home, is
not wasted. It is our payment for the
lesson that in our new army plan we -must
provide well for the care of sol- .
diers' families if we are going to in- "
sist on taking men away from their
families into the army."
"What about my family?" Is the
biggest question in all militia camps '
along the border. '
Mrs. Sophie Shepkowski, the young
wife of Frank Shepkowski, was
found by a Day Book reporter in their
three-room flat at the rear of 1452
Emma st,, when-she returned for the
half-hour grace given her for lunch
by a small tailoring estblishment
near by.
"It's been awfully hard since Frank
went away," she said. "He was
earning fair wages at Hoffman Bros.,
47th and Grand avs., before he left.
Since then I have been working, but
I don't make very much. No, Hoff
man Bros, didn't pay any of his sal
ary while Frank was away. I think
he will be home tomorrow morning,

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