By Pfc. Martin Weldon, Camp Upton, N.Y.

My nephew David is 8 ½ years old, a healthy, average kid who kicks cans and steps on cracks and would rather be Flash Gordon than President, and next to that a belly gunner. Although I am not one of your sentimental uncles, sometimes away at camp I’d think a little of David growing into sturdy manhood, playing with his friends and sometimes bragging about his soldier uncle. It was a sound, satisfying feeling: my chin squared a bit when I thought about it, my uniform hugged me more firmly.

Last week we heard rumors that a three-day pass was coming, so I called up my sister to tell her I might be in. A light milky tenor answered the phone.

“Hello, David,” I said, my heart swelling with affection, “This is Uncle Marty.”

“Lo,–Uncamahdee, Got any medals? Uncafrank’s got some. Bring me some chevrons. Well, so long.

Ah, the little rascal! He certainly was proud of me. Of course he wasn’t exactly a finished telephone conversationalist, but obviously he just couldn’t wait to see me. We would take long walks together; I would talk, inspirational, character-molding talk, and he would listen, his bright, receptive mind soaking up priceless, indelible impressions. It was the least I could do for the little tyke—the lovable, tousle-headed hunk of small fry.

Well, I had qualified in about half a dozen weapons, so I brought a marksman’s medal (it had never seemed necessary before) and the markers to go with them. They made quite a brave showing dangling from my chest. I could just see the kid’s eyes lighting up in pride and shy respect.

“Well, David,” I said as I walked into the living room three days later, “glad to see me?”

“Lo,” he remarked briefly, looking at the floor. “I’m working on my stamp book. Got any stamps from South Africa? How come you’re not a sergeant? Where are my chevrons?”

“What do you notice about me, boy?” I asked, as I swept him up and held him where he couldn’t help seeing the medal.

“You look as though you’ve lost some weight,” he answered as he wriggled out of my arms, grabbed my knees and knocked me down hard on the floor.wwii nephew

“Oh,” I gasped delightedly, “you want to play with your uncle, don’t you?”

“No,” he replied. “I’m practicing judo. I’ve just joined the Cub Scouts. You sure you haven’t got any South African Stamps?”

“No,” I said gaily. “What do you say we take a walk, and I’ll tell you all about the Army.”

“I can’t.” he said. “We have a meeting of the Cub Scouts. Well, so long, Uncle Marty: when you going back? Gee, you look skinny.”

Well, I wouldn’t say I didn’t have a good time on my pass, but I’ve been revising some of my theories. I’m not quite so sure now about fighting to preserve a world for keen, clear-eyed youngsters to grow up in. And as for my nephew David, as far as I’m concerned you can have him. He’s an ungrateful, unfaithful brat, and I have no further use for him. Why, the little stinker—what the hell is he doing out of the Army? I’ve got a good mind to call up his draft board.

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