JANUARY 26, 1945
WASHINGTON, Thursday—Every time I take people to the Wiltwyck School at Esopus, N.Y., I am impressed by the fact that, by contact with the boys and with the faculty, they come away having acquired an appreciation of the work being done and an understanding of the atmosphere which Dr. Cooper and his staff create—an atmosphere which cannot be put into words. There is no sense of institutionalism in the school. They boys are free and happy, just in the way they would be at any other school. Entirely forgotten is the fact that they were sent there because they were considered too difficult to handle at other institutions. You simply think of them as normal, happy children being given an opportunity for development in a sensible, pleasant environment.
Our train was late going up to Poughkeepsie, and so we did not reach our own house at Hyde Park for lunch until 2:30; and in a half hour we started again for the station. Luckily, we caught a belated express train and reached New York City around 6 o'clock. I took the subway from Grand Central to 14th Street, and then got out and walked, to discover for the first time how the wind had come up and how cold it was. There is something about beating against the wind which is exhilarating, however, and then the contrast on reaching home gives one such a warm and sheltered feeling.
Miss Thompson, Mrs. Lash and I had a rather leisurely dinner, and then I went to a meeting of the United Veterans of the Second World War, Inc. When I arrived, a speaker was explaining the loan system under the G.I. Bill of Rights, and after my talk we had a long discussion period. The questions ranged over a great number of subjects, from the fear of Russia to the shortcomings of the Veterans' Administration.
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I have been asked to draw attention to the fact that, in addition to the nurses needed for our military hospitals, there are women needed in the armed services proper to become laboratory technicians, nurses' aides, and in every way to supplement the work of the registered nurses. If a girl feels that she wants to work in the hospitals, but still does not want to take a nurse's training, there are many possibilities open in the armed services for being of help to the boys. You must take basic training and then have whatever additional technical training is needed, but it is not as long an ordeal as becoming a nurse.
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The other day I was sent a copy of a very delightful letter written by a father who is serving as an officer in our army in Italy, after he had received a membership card in the National Parent-Teachers Association. The letter shows great appreciation of what the mothers are doing at home—running their houses, caring for their children, and carrying the full burden by themselves in addition to the constant anxiety about their husbands. I hope many a woman, when she feels somewhat cast down, will remember how much her job means to a man far away.