The writer who penned the article on the right was named Paul Gerard Smith (1894 – 1968); he has a big long list of credits on IMBD and a bunch of other Hollywood sites. Yet, for those who remember him and his long body of comedies, he was a funny man and a clever screenwriter - but the Paul Gerard Smith who wrote this column was the sullen Paul Gerard Smith that few ever got to know. Smith was a World War I veteran and he was mighty sore about the manner in which he had been mislead into volunteering for the slaughter in the first place. In Smith's article his bitterness for having served in the First World War bubbles to the top.
"Here's the way it is, kid. If you go to war, you're a chump - as I was - unless it's your war. Inspect it carefully first...See what selfish interests will be served by engaging in war. Find out whose oil properties or whose overseas investments you are drafted to protect... You, who left a patriot, will return a cynic. Your beliefs will be gone, your belief in everyone and everything. Your belief in your fellow man, who, having remained behind, now considers you a fool for having gone."
A small passage appears in the book Citizen Soldiers (1998) in which W.W. II historian Stephen Ambrose wrote that articles such as this one were frequently seen in American magazines and newspapers of the era - the young lads coming of age in Germany, Japan and Italy were not so terribly lucky.
Click here to read about the regrets of the American invalids from W.W. I.
Click here to read one man's account of his struggle with shell shock...