OCTOBER 7, 1943
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—I want to go back again to my letters about our soldiers in New Zealand. Many a mother here, when she was training her son to be of use at home, did not realize that some of the things she taught him would make him a very welcome guest, and sometimes even make him of real value to the Army.
For instance, one of the men, who has the reputation for being more responsible for the good spirits of his regiment than anyone else, was the head baker in a camp which I visited. He teaches the men under him to make good bread, cakes and pies, and he is popular. It is all because, so he told me, his mother taught him to do it at home.
Some of the boys in the cooks and bakers school do not feel they are an important part of the Army. As a matter of fact, some of the most distinguished soldiers in the world have said that an army marches on its stomach, and a well fed army is always a satisfied army and, therefore, a good fighting force.
In New Zealand I heard our boys praised because they helped wash the dishes and ran errands for their hostesses, so you see how important a mother's training is.
Here is a letter from Mrs. Ruby Tennent, from a small town in New Zealand: "I must tell you how much we enjoyed the visit of the two Marines you sent us. One was very young, only twenty-and-a-half, and the other a Marine of eight years service.
"Their frank friendliness, ready wit and appreciation made them delightful guests. My two sons, in the Air Force, came home unexpectedly and were thrilled with the tales of Guadalcanal and of your wonderful country. I must say that your city lads from Boston and Brooklyn, N. Y., gave us quiet country folks something to think of. Three weeks effort was only a fraction of the debt we owe to those who spent many weeks enduring Guadalcanal. I should have liked to keep them longer, but then our very busy days are here, and my husband and I are each without help on the farm. As you said, the lads are so human and they fitted into our home life very easily. This small country should benefit very much by the contact with you and your kinsfolks."