Letters from Oregon Boys in France
Compiled by Mrs. Frank Wilmot 1918
Corp. Chas. Arlie Evans
Somewhere in France
May 12, 1918.
To My Dearest Mother:
This is "Mothers' Day" and even though we are so far away, we hold the day sacred, yes even more sacred if it's possible than ever before.
Each and every man knows the valuation of a mother's love soon after he arrives, if he never fully realized it before.
For myself, I have always known what the love of a real mother meant, although since I have been over here I have gained a greater knowledge than ever before.
It gives us greater strength, knowing that while we are over here, undergoing a few hardships, that mother, whom we left at the dearest spot on earth, home, has to withstand greater suffering and anxiety, while her boy is away on such a mission.
It's a wonderful feeling each night when taps sound, to think that it is one day nearer the end, and that mother has spent the day in honest work for the comfort of her boy as well as some other fellow, who, perhaps, may not be so fortunate. And then the comfort that no one but a soldier knows, that when this terrible struggle for democracy is over, and we return, it will be mother who will be there waiting with open arms for her boy.
And God grant that when I come home my mother will be there to welcome me who will be a better man than when I went away.
This is a beautiful sunny day, and we've been given a holiday. So Clarence and I are going for a walk. The flowers are in bloom and the birds are coming back.
It reminds me of the bright Sunday mornings, when we used to go to the hills to picnic, and how I'd like to be there today to lie in the shade, and visit with you dear folks. And then there would be mother's picnic dinner. Well let us hope next year at this time we will be permitted to have such a picnic again. I often think of the good times we used to have, and I know you remember them too.
I hope you still go to the woods, as it is the best way to keep young and that's one thing you must do till I come home. Everything is moving along nicely, just as well and fast as it is possible to do. Our project here will soon be finished then I presume it will be another "Somewhere."
I am learning many things which will be of advantage in later years. Don't worry about me, as I am in the best of health, and know that we are in "His hands, who doeth all things well."
Well, mother, this is mother's letter, but at the same time we mustn't forget dear old dad.
It's my opinion that there should be a day in which to pay tribute to the memory of our dad, as he has always had lots to contend with.
Well you will both know that I am wearing a red rose today for love of you both.
Lovingly, your son,