Fred Bregel Writes Interesting Letter of Camp Experiences
A long letter from Private Fred Bregel to his Fairfax friends written on both K. Of C. and Y.M.C.A. stationery was received last week too late for the Standard issue. Fred’s letter was dated May 28th, at Camp Merritt, New Jersey. Following are some of his conclusions of army life.
Your correspondent was growing tired of the Southland, mainly because of the suspense as we were daily expecting order to move. Here in Camp Merritt we are doing nothing but hang around for the present. Most of us have seen quite a bit of the big city. The people of New York certainly welcome the man in uniform. The U.S. uniform is our pass to clubs, etc. We rode buses, boob wagons and taxis to see the town proper. But on our last trip, we sailed down the Hudson River, out into the bay and up East river through beneath Brooklyn Bridge, past the navy yards and landed in the city of Brooklyn to return by crossing Brooklyn Bridge into New York City. Evenings nothing is barred—cabarets, dance or show.
I have never for a single minutes regretted joining the Hospital corps and we are all mighty anxious to get into real work. I want to be there for the big drive. Army life isn’t bad after all and it gives a man a satisfied feeling to know that he is doing his part and not hanging back to let the other fellow do it all. Some may want to hang back or stay at home and accumulate a fortune while the other fellow is making all the sacrifice but I certainly would not want to be that man that stayed at home for when the war is over he is the one that will face the music and the dishonor, unless there are real reasons for his staying. Some things that we learn from home do not look very good to the man in service.
I am more than glad that Fairfax did well for the Red Cross. They certainly deserve the confidence and support of all.
I already begin to realize what the Red Cross means to us. On our trip from the South we were not permitted to purchase anything, either drinks or eatables of any kind from anyone except the Red Cross people. You will see the reason for that rule. This being the order we of course looked for the Red Cross headquarters at every stop and they never failed us. They were there every time at every stop that we made. The had tea, candy, strawberries, cake, etc., besides something to read and smoke.
Remember me to the friends at Fairfax, and I hope to hear from you when I get “on the other side”. I do not know when we are going, but address me.
Frank Bregel, Base Hospital No. 26 via New York
Editor’s Note: If you notice at the top of the article it states Fred and at the bottom is states Frank. We believe he is the same person.