University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The Gender and Women's Studies Collection

Page View

Hackett, John; Gammon, Roland; Ross, Sayre; Breslow, Sally (ed.) / See
Vol. 10, No. 5 (Sept. 1951)

Clark, General Mark
An open letter to mothers of GI's serving in our army,   pp. 10-11 PDF (1.4 MB)

Page 10

of GI's Serving in Our Army
Fort Monroe, Virginia
GENERAL MARK W. CLARK, one of America's most distinguished mil-
itary men, led the Allied Mediterranean assault against the Axis during World
War II. Ordered to Europe in 1942, he became Deputy to General Eisenhower
in planning and executing the invasion of Africa.
Previously, he had captured the world's imagination by his daring sub-
marine landing near Algiers to confer with French patriots. Placed in charge
of the newly-organized Fifth Army, he directed a three-year campaign against
the "Soft Underbelly" of Europe, from the bloody landings at Anzio across the
Rapido River up Italy's spine to the Po Valley and victory. General Clark is
the author of a best-selling history of the Italian campaign, Calculated Risk,
I write this letter to you as the one directing the training of your sois and
daughters in the Army Field Forces, which include training camps from Fort
Devens, Mass., to Fort Lewis, Washington. and from Camp McCoy in Wis-
consi n to Fort Sam Houston in Texas.
Nearly 750,000 typical young Americans have entered the Service since
the summer of 1950, when bloody Communist aggression in Korea forced
our decision to increase U.S. military strength. As Chief of the Army Field
Forces, I am responsible for their military readiness.
Naturally you worried when a son or daughter left home, in many cases
for the first time. Mothers always worry. Anxiety is part of the love they
give their children.
Believe me, I know how you feel. I have a son in the Army, too. in Korea.
And I have trained and led your sons for over 34 years. I have watched a
great many of them leave civilian pursuits and adjust themselves to the rigors
of Army life. I have undergone most of the experiences your sons will under-
go, and I do my level best to utilize my experiences to insure that your sons
are returned to you better men and better citizens.
Each week, I receive scores of letters from mothers of sons and daughters
entering military service. Innumerable are the questions to which you mothers
seek answers.
Some letters ask about the length of the basic training period before going
overseas; others ask about the moral well being of their soils; others about
opportunity for education, character building and the medical care available
to servicemen. Others ask about the quality of the soldiers' food. It is gratify-
ing to me, as a soldier, that only a few letters deny the necessity of loved
ones' serving in the military establishment of our country, at a time like this.
Moreover, a great many parents who have not written letters unquestionably
would like information about a variety of subjects connected with the military
service of their sons and daughters. That is why I am writing this open letter.
Let us take up the most important questions first. There are two big ones:
1) Why is my son in Korea?
2) Why is he in service at all?
If your boy is in Korea, as my boy is, it is because the American people
will not permit Communist tyrants to dominate the world-including the
United States-as they are trying to do. That is also the reason why your
boy is in service in the first place.
We are fighting to halt an aggressor who aims at world conquest, and
gathers added strength with every victory allowed him.
The United Nations' action in Korea is not a battle for the small territory
of the little Republic. In last analysis, it is a struggle for the survival of
western Democracy, against Red columns which would impose the brutal rule
of a Communist minority on the mass majority of the earth's freedom loving
men and women.

Go up to Top of Page