Found my maternal great-grandfather’s WWI draft card online.
I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandmother growing up, due to the fact that she lived about a mile away from my elementary/middle school and would often pick me and my sister up since my parents worked normal business hours. Stories of my great-grandfather Aloysius were a constant presence in my childhood.
My grandmother has scant memories of her father; he passed away when she was 4 or 5 years old in 1928. Supposedly, he contracted Spanish Influenza in the war and never made a full recovery, which led to his death at the age of 32.
I always felt like I knew my great-grandfather, though — probably because a large portrait of him in his Army uniform hangs in the entry way of my grandparent’s house. It’s a beautiful photograph, oval in shape in a subtle frame. There’s a small smirk on my great-grandfather’s face, his eyes glimmering in youthful optimism. It’s probably the only thing of my grandmother’s I covet; I spent so many hours looking at it as a child.
Anyway, I thought this was cool. He was 21 when he was enlisted. (Also, please look at the bottom; if you can see it, there is a small section that reads “IF PERSON IS OF AFRICAN DESCENT, TEAR OFF THIS CORNER.”)