Meet Your Servicemen
The following letter may give you fellows an incentive to pass on some ideas of what you would like to see in Beacon Lights. It comes from Albert Visser, from our Manhattan Church.
“I received your letter a while back, and I am sorry I couldn’t answer before. Yes, I have been receiving the Beacon Lights every month. I never knew until l got in the army that this paper is as good as it is. It sure goes to show that when we have to live in a world surrounded by sin, such as you find in the service, that the Beacon Lights brings our thoughts back. There is one thing we must always remember, although the world is against us, God is with us.
It is very hard to say what to put in that section. I would strongly favor having a crossword puzzle. We would have something to figure out, and at the same time we would read the Bible. Besides, it would be educational. I think essays and letters from servicemen, change of address, and also reports from the home societies.”
For those of you who would like to write to Al, his address is:
Pvt. Albert P. Visser, U.S. 560-92-529, Btry, B., 96th AAA Gun Bn., Fort Lewis, Washington.
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Another letter comes from Holland, Michigan, and for those of you who know the young man, I’m sure you will agree it is “typically Jerry”.
During his grade school years Gerald attended four different Christian schools in various parts of the country, and thus acquired a wide field of acquaintance. He started school at Manhattan, Montana and attended there the first two years. The following year he attended Zeeland Christian School, and then went to Hull, Iowa, Christian school for one half year. He graduated from the 9th grade of the Hudsonville Christian School, where he enjoyed Miss Della Vander Vennen as a teacher for three years, where he was a member of the Chorus and Band for three years, manager of the Basket-Ball team for one year, and Vice-President of his class in his Junior year.
He enlisted in the U. S. Air Force last December and left for Lackland Field at San Antonio, Texas the 2nd of January. He arrived there just at the time when there was a tremendous influx of Air Force volunteers, so that 70,000 men were crowded into a camp ordinarily meant for approximately 35,000. While most of the men stay at Lackland Field for just a few weeks of basic training, Gerald is stationed there permanently and would be very happy to hear from many of his acquaintances.
Here follows one of his last letters:
Here comes a Jet again, zooming thru the air with breathless speed. I gaze up, and behold, I also am with that pilot. Over hill, over dale, over large cities, small towns, thru the clouds and over the sea I wing back toward my home, and in the city of the Dutch rush up the steps of 105 West 19th St., and cry Hi Folks. I see the family, mother in her rose dress, father in his pin striped suit, and sis in her blue jeans, bottom up and reading the paper. What a sight to behold! My thoughts turn back to when I was at Lackland Field. Nothing but men, more men, and still more. Same clothes, same purpose in mind, all working toward the same goal, (that is for God and Country). Oh, how wonderful to be home! The peace and quiet fellowship with my own people. No more harsh words, no more drudging hours, no more dreary moments. This is to name but a few. Once more nights to myself with my girl. Sleep nice and long on a bed which is sleepable. Yes, this is home sweet home, where never will be heard a discouraging word, but only joy and happiness with my loved ones. The years will be long and dreary. Sometimes your eyes may be teary, But never forget this is my home, my native land, And through all its timber, clay, and burning sand, We always fight for what is right, The United States Air Force. (Written by myself, ahem, Gerald W. Kok, U.S.A.F.)
Your loving son,
I’m just inserting this letter because it is typically ‘Jerry’. Fraternally, Bernard Kok.”
We also have Jerry’s address for those of you who are interested:
Pvt. Gerald W. Kok A.F. 163-46-116 Sqdrn. 3701 Lackland Field, San Antonio, Texas.
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We also talked to Mrs. Miedema from our Hope Church. Maybe some of you saw and talked to Harold, when he was home a few weeks ago. Harold left for service the 31st of October, and by the time you read this, he will have spent almost five months in the service. Before entering the Armed Forces, he was employed by Lumber Specialties. He was formerly stationed at Camp Picket, Virginia, and was in California only a week, before he was granted a furlough of 14 days, which includes his travelling time. Upon returning from his furlough, he was issued warm clothing, so he expects to be sent overseas in the near future. Why not drop him a line? His address is:
Pvt. Harold Miedema, 55-052-589, Co. B, 172nd Inf., 43rd Div., Camp Stoneman, California.
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For those of you who are interested, the weather certainly has changed. One day the sun is shining, the next we might have rain. But you should see it now! Looks as if we are liable to have a couple of inches of snow before morning. But then that is to be expected, it’s only March.
Watch the next issue for news of other Servicemen. This department is for our Servicemen, so how about letting us hear from you? No matter how brief you want to be, why not let us in on where you are and how you are getting on. It doesn’t take long to drop us a line, a postal card will do.
We’ll be looking forward to receiving pictures and letters so the other will be able to share some of your experiences.
If your address has been changed recently, let us know, because that is news for fellows far from home. Why not write us now? Our address is:
Beacon Lights, c/o Miss Jane Schipper,913 Adams St., S. E., Grand Rapids 7, Michigan.
Also any ideas for items for “your column”, such as those Al Visser sent us, will be appreciated.
Hoping to hear from you,