The YMCA During WWI with Photos

During WWI, the YMCA played an important role in the lives of American soldiers. They provided writing supplies, amusements and activities,  and a place to see your buddies, and for a short time, be distracted from the grim realities of war.The following excerpt is from a letter written by a 1st Lieutenant November 9, 1918, just 2 days before Armistice......Ever since we have been in this part of France, in fact ever we have been over here, except the first two months, we have had the YMCA with us. Where we could get American supplies, and the YMCA, there is always one with the reg., and most of the time are with each Bn., goes right with us, moves when we move, always carrying the articles the American Doughboy desires, giving to him free writing paper and envelopes, sends his money home for him, furnishes him amusements, supplying him with athletic equipment, balls, bats, gloves, footballs, basket balls, etc. and their work in having supplies at hand that the soldier wants and furnishing amusements, acting as banker as club room, as friend have lightened the arduous life of campaigning in a country where American articles and supplies and amusements can be had no where else, considerably. There is nothing that helps him more than to be able to go to the “Y” at any time he wants to, he knows he is always welcome there and can meet and chat with his friends. The Y is something in common with all soldiers, and they appreciate it’s efforts. (to read the entire letter click here)
 This photo shows soldiers in a YMCA Hut, at Columbus Barracks, surrounding what looks like an early record player. Library of Congress Photo: details
 This photo shows a YMCA Army Motor Kitchen. Not sure of the date on this one. 
Library of Congress Photo: details
 This photo shows some sort of YMCA activity at a U.S. military training camp.
Library of Congress Photo: details
 This photo shows a Library War Service, YMCA Hut, at Vancouver Barracks.
Library of Congress Photo: details
 This WWI YMCA Poster is titled: "His Home Over There"
Library of Congress Photo: details
 This WWI YMCA Poster is titled: "Wokders, lend your strength to the red triangle-Help the "Y" help the fighters fight-Ynited War Work Campaign"
Library of Congress Photo: details
Singing was one of the many activities you could participate in at the YMCA, and was a very important part of keeping the Soldiers' morale up. This is one of the Song Books used by the YMCA.
YMCA Song Book, Back view.

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