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Over The Top Arthur Guy Empey


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After four months in the hospital, I went before an examining board and was discharged from the service of his Britannic Majesty as "physically unfit for further war service."

After my discharge I engaged passage on the American liner, New York, and after a stormy trip across the Atlantic, one momentous day, in the haze of early dawn I saw the Statue of Liberty looming over the port rail, and I wondered if ever again I would go "over the top with the best of luck and give them hell."

And even then, though it may seem strange, I was really sorry not to be back in the trenches with my mates. War is not a pink tea but in a worthwhile cause like ours, mud, rats, cooties, shells, wounds, or death itself, are far outweighed by the deep sense of satisfaction felt by the man who does his bit.

There is one thing which my experience taught me that might help the boy who may have to go. It is this anticipation is far worse than realization. In civil life a man stands in awe of the man above him, wonders how he could ever fill his Job. When the time comes he rises to the occasion, is up and at it, and is surprised to find how much more easily than he anticipated he fills his responsibilities. It is really so "out there."

He has nerve for the hardships; the interest of the work grips him; he finds relief in the fun and comradeship of the trenches and wins that best sort of happiness that comes with duty done.

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Over The Top
Arthur Guy Empey

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