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326th Communication Reconnaissance Company
APO 301, SF California
31 Jan 1953

Sunday school
Assembly of God Church
Ashland, Oregon

Dear Sir:

A truly unfortunate situation has come to my attention, This morning Captain lcenhower asked me who was in charge of the orphanage aid work done by this company, I informed him that while I was not in charge of the work I was quite active in the project and could possibly help him with what he wanted to know.

Captain lcenhower then informed me of his letter to his parents requesting aid for the children supported by this company. He went on to say that notwithstanding the fact that several packages had arrived in this company from your church group an acknowledgement of their arrival was never sent. This is truly unfortunate. At his request I looked into the matter and promised him that I'd write to you today giving a full report to you on the situation as I now see it.

First of all let me identify myself. I am a corporal of the 326th Communication Reconnaissance Company. I arrived in the company late in October and became active in the orphanage work during the month of November.

Since I took over the post of corresponding secretary of the orphanage Committee not a single package has been received that has not been immediately acknowledged with a personal note, followed up in a several weeks by a longer letter. I have sent out several hundred photographs to people who wrote or sent packages.

Your packages must have arrived before I was in a position to receive them and duly acknowledge their receipt. A former sergeant of this company was taking care of the correspondence at that time. He, it seems, was awaiting photographs to send you along with his letter. As it turned out he transferred from the company before accomplishing his intent in that direction. One of the other members of the Orphanage Committee was approached by Captain Icenhower on the matter. I checked with this corporal. He says that he wrote to your church. I believe him. If he says he wrote he did so, but the letter undoubtedly was either misaddressed or lost in the mails.

Do not think for a minute that I am trying to minimize the seriousness of the situation as it now stands, Captain lcenhower impressed on me the anxiety of your group, wondering whether the material was ever received or whether it has been side-tracked to the black market. Please rest assured of the fact that as the material has been received in this company it went nowhere except directly to the children.

Please forgive us for our seemingly ungracious attitude. To write a note acknowledging receipt of packages is one thing. To be able to express the appreciation for the act of sending the aid is another. To communicate through the medium of the written word that which is desired to be expressed requires a person well versed in letters. Unfortunately I do not find myself such a person but will nevertheless attempt to express the emotions felt by the recipients of your kindness.

Appreciation? It's there. The last time I visited the children at their new home it nearly caused a riot. It seems that a class was going on when I entered the room. Immediately all those children who knew me through the part I play on the orphanage committee of this company, jumped from their seats and ran to me, they clung to my legs, climbed up into my arms, hung around my neck, each one pushing the other seeking my attention. I am but a "Middle man". It is you people in the states who the children should hug and shower their affection upon.

Do not think for a minute that the children or the administrators of the orphanage where the children are located are crediting any one of us GIs individually for the aid you are sending. It is the generous, kind, warm hearted friends classed generally as Americans that these children thank and will forever remember.

I do hope that we, as a unit, are forgiven and that our combined effort to aid these children will continue. Not knowing just how familiar you are with our orphanage aid I take the liberty to quote excerpts from an article I wrote for my home town newspaper.

"Over a year ago our company started supporting 55 children in an orphanage located next to our camp. We fed and clothed them the best we could. Even so, we could not provide the close attention needed to have them brought up properly. Since people of responsibility could not be found to run the orphanage for us, we moved the children to Seoul Sanitarium and Hospital Orphanage where they were integrated into the larger household of over 200 children.

"Here are the true victims of this war. Thirty percent have TB, numerous others are hospitalized with communicable diseases. The most recent group to enter were twenty four unfortunates suffering from malnutrition. They had been starving and freezing in their small orphanage while the overseer was stealing the money given by the government for their food! Now they are in good hands.

"Two Americans at the hospital, Mrs. Rue, the director's wife and Miss Robson, the head nurse, have accepted full responsibility for these derelicts in the sea of humanity.

"Some of the tots are brought to the orphanage by people who found them living in caves, eking out an existence by raiding garbage piles and begging. Others, new born, were found in the gutters almost without life. The two American women have taken on the orphanage as additional duties besides their running the hospital, They are directly responsible for the raising and keeping of the children but what a task! two people caring for 274 children!

"Our job has not been lightened by turning our charges over to Mrs. Rue and Miss Robson. The contrary is true. We now have 274 charges and they are all in dire need of our assistance and all the help our friends at home can give us.

"Basic food staples are scarce, powdered milk, chocolate, cereals, dried fruits and vegetables, all are desperately needed. Outing flannel for infants clothes and corduroy and other material for larger children's clothing is needed. Shoes of all sizes, but especially for the smaller tots, are lacking. Some sort of waterproof material for infants cribs is needed to protect bedding. Hardly any of the children in the hospital with TB have pajamas and such a thing as sheets for the beds is unheard of. And so goes the list."

Gratitude is the memory of the heart. Accepting that as a basic truth then you can rest assured of long lived gratitude since the tortures of hunger and want are not soon forgotten nor is the person forgotten who eased such pains. These children will not remember you as individuals but rather as American friends who helped them when they were down and out. These friendships built on such a solid foundation, will have lifelong repercussions on this nation, as it is the children who will soon grow to be the moving forces here as elsewhere.

With the earnest desire to be of further service to you I remain,
Yours truly,

George F. Drake
Cpl. RA 12344689
Secty Orph Comm.




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