My wife knows how much I like big cats and all other varieties of predators and raptors, and she painstakingly glued the tiger back together and gave it to me as a present.
It's roaring at me again as I write this: it stands on a shelf in my study, surrounded by what I hope is more congenial company—grimacing wind-up monsters, maddened dinosaurs, a couple of snarling dragons with their wings outspread, and a sullen rubber shark opening wide to take a bite at passersby.
But I have the feeling my father wouldn't have minded that; he never liked other people knowing his business. It's particularly true, I think, of the mementos of soldiers, because nobody other than a soldier remembers the details of any war once it's safely over. I don't have the slightest idea; war just isn't an experience I'm up on.
I was barely young enough to miss the Vietnam draft, and I'm old enough now that the only way I could figure in a future war is as a victim.
Pershing wanted an American force that could operate independently of the other Allies, but his vision could not be realized until adequately trained troops with sufficient supplies reached Europe.
Training schools in America sent their best men to the front, and Pershing also established facilities in France to train new arrivals for combat.
The mobilization effort taxed the limits of the American military and required new organizational strategies and command structures to transport great numbers of troops and supplies quickly and efficiently.
Although the first American troops arrived in Europe in June 1917, the AEF did not fully participate at the front until October, when the First Division, one of the best-trained divisions of the AEF, entered the trenches at Nancy, France.
World War I was the first time in American history that the United States sent soldiers abroad to defend foreign soil.
On April 6, 1917, when the United States declared war against Germany, the nation had a standing army of 127,500 officers and soldiers.