Harry Bruce Faris was born August 19, 1897 in Salina, Kansas. He spent most of his life in Hutchinson.

When the United States entered World War One in 1917, Harry didn’t want to wait until he was old enough to be drafted, so he and a high school buddy, Clarence Greer, enlisted in the Army in May, 1918. They were sent to Camp Jackson, near Columbia, South Carolina, for two months of training. They were sent overseas as Field Artillery Replacements with the American Expeditionary Force. When they landed in England in August of 1918, they were sent directly to the front in France as part of the 2nd Regular Army Division of the First Army under General John J. Pershing. Although Harry had trained as a Field Artillery Replacement, he wound up with the 2nd Ammunition Train, hauling ammunition to the artillery units. Harry participated in the St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne Operations. After the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918, their division followed the German Army through Belgium, Luxembourg and was stationed near Coblenz, Germany. Harry’s division was chosen to be part of the Third Army (Army of Occupation), and he served as a payroll clerk with them until August of 1919 when he was shipped home.

Harry was a diligent letter writer. As he noted many times, he tried to write at least once a week. Sometimes, due to troop movements, or availability of paper, this was not possible. There is a gap of three months at the beginning of 1919. He doesn’t explain this, and we have not been able to discover a reason for it. There are a few sentences here and there in the letters that just don’t seem to make sense. This could be because of some knowledge we lack that was in a missing letter; some colloquial meaning that is unknown to us now, or it could just be a mistake on Harry’s part. Both the paper and the ink are deteriorating. At the time we are putting this book together, the letters are 90 years old. There are 39 letters. Some are quite difficult to read, and in a few places they are illegible, as we have noted. Misspellings and other grammatical errors were left in the original hand of the twenty to twenty-one year-old Harry. What follow are the highlights of these letters.

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