May 23, 1919
Will write you a few lines tonight as I want to make an effort of get out of the army. Within the last few weeks there have been about ten men out of my company sent home for discharge by making application to A.E.F. General Headquarters, accompanied by an affidavit stating that they had dependents, and sickness in their families and were badly needed at home. Now at this time it looks as though the Second Division would remain here indefinitely, as peace will not be signed till the last of June and maybe not then.
One of the fellows leaving for discharge tomorrow, made application with an affidavit stating that his father had a farm and was in poor health, and his services were badly needed at home on the farm. Now I believe I can show just as good grounds. Although you are in good health, probably you are past the age to do much hard work.
Therefore, go to a lawyer (if necessary to get it worded right), and make out an affidavit stating that you have a farm to care for and are too old to do much work (state age) and that my services are badly needed at home on the farm, as farm labor is very scarce in your country, and harvest time is fast approaching. Then have it sworn to before a notary public, and send it to me and I will send it in with my application from my company office through military channels to G.H. American Expeditionary Forces. And I believe it will be acted upon favorably. As I am a farmer by occupation (which is on my classification card) a record of which is kept by the government. And I think that farming is recognized as an important industry. I would have a good chance of getting discharged.
All this would not be much trouble and would mean a whole lot to me. So do so as soon as possible. In the meantime if peace is signed and everything turns out for the best, so much the better, but as it looks now this action is necessary if I expect to get home with out spending six more months or possibly a year more here.
This leaves me in good health, but homesick. With love to both. Your son,
Pvt 1st Class Robert E. Schalles
1st Amb. Co. 2nd Division
P.S. don’t forget to state my full name, rank, company, and branch of service (Medical Department) in the affidavit.