Dear YANK:

I’ll start from the very beginning. I’m 27 years old and I entered the Army in ’41. While I was at Fort Sam Houston, Tex., I became infatuated with a girl and went to Mexico and was told by a priest (or monk) there that we were married by him. I lived with her only one night. There were no papers of marriage, and I did not sign any such papers in Mexico. I paid her no allotment till June 1943 I again went to Mexico and got a divorce) so I was told,) but not one paper was signed by me or anyone else, for it was granted by this monk (or priest, or whatever he was) in Mexico.

I went to my first sergeant in my last camp to find out about getting the allotment to stop but failed. You see, this 70-or 80-year-old monk (whatever he was) told me I’d have to pay her alimony. But me going to all the trouble I did, and with no one who could (or would) tell me anything I went ahead and got married to another girl. Now I can’t get an allotment for my second wife because of this other mess. I was told the first girl was married again and living in Mexico—where I do not know. I don’t even know what happened to her, but they have been taking pay out of my $50 every month. Now, if my divorce was not legal how can the marriage be legal? Also where and how and when did she get papers asking for the allotment? Please can you help me as I’m in enough trouble as it is and do not want to lose the one girl I will really ever love. Several people here are calling me a bigamist, and I don’t think I am.

—Pvt. J.C.H.


—Wow! Well, here goes. In the first place, as far as the allowance is concerned, that first girl was pretty smart, because she obviously submitted a marriage certificate of some kind to prove that she was your wife’ otherwise the Office of Dependency Benefits would not have approved her application for a family allowance. In the second place, many foreign divorces are looked upon with deep suspicion by the ODB, and where there is not even documentary proof of the divorce (as in your case) the ODB would probably have to continue payments to this girl in Mexico. The ODB suggest you send full details of your case to its office at 213 Washing Street, Newark, N.J. Don’t forget to include your ASN. As for the legal, social and moral aspects of your problem, see your legal assistance officer. See your CO. See your personal affairs officer. See your chaplain. Quick.

wwii sad sack yank marriage

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