Ripley County Democrat
Ripley County Democrat
Contributed by Gigimo

Description: No Exemption From Draft Board.

Date: October 19 1917

Newspaper published in: Doniphan, MO

The way things look now, Neb WILKINSON of Palmer, Mo., will have to don a suit of khaki and shoulder a rifle. But Neb is still wondering why the draft board of Washington county, sitting at Potosi, rejected his plea for exemption. When he was drafted last week he passed a fair physical examination, being found sound in wind and limb. Except that his molars were pretty well ground off from eating parched corn and his heels showed fresh stone bruises acquired from hiking over Ozark hills, he looked able to carry a rifle, but he evidently didn't want to fight and his eyes continually sought the far blue hills as he told of his patch and his wife and family of seven children dependent upon him for support. The chairman of the board at last told him he must have a letter from his wife stating the condition at home. So the next day Neb drove in sight over the hill road bearing a missive written on wrapping paper with a lead pencil. The chairman called his colleagues together and one by one, as they read the letter, turned their backs and walked hurriedly away. "Dear United States Army: My husband ast me to rite you a reckmend that he supports his family. He can't read so don't tell him. Just take him. He ain't done nuthin but drink lemmin essence an play the fiddle sense we married eight years ago and I gotta feed seven kids of hissen. Maybe you kin git him to carry a gun. He's good on squirrels and eatin. Take him and welcum. I need his grub and bed for his kids. Don't tell him this, but take him. Mary Jane WILKINSON."

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Submitted: 08/12/17

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