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You are on page 5 of the 1st AA Grapevine ever printed

Copyright The A.A. Grapevine, Inc., June 1944

Mail  Call  for  All  A.A.'s  in  the  Armed  Forces

   When  the  idea  of  bringing  out  a  New  York  Metropolitan  A.A.  paper  was
   conceived,   one  of   the   first   thoughts  was   that   it   might  prove  particularly
   helpful  to our  members  in  the Service.  If  anyone  doubts  what  such  a  paper
   can  mean  to  these  men,  here,  we  think,  is  the  answer.  Corporal  Hugh  B.,
   now in England,  had  no  knowledge  of  our  project  when  he  wrote one of  us
   recently:  "Your  letter of  ten days ago was much  appreciated  and  was  one
   of, if not the,  most newsy  A.A.  letters I have received.  Certainly was inter-
   esting  to hear about the boys  and  gals  all  over the world.  Made me think
   that  we should  have  a  monthly  publication.—Think  it  over!"
   The  records  kept  by our  Central  Office show approximately  300  A.A. mem-
   bers  now in Service, with some  40  coming from  the  New York area  and  be-
   longing   to  various   Metropolitan   Groups.   These   figures,   due   to   constant
   changes,  are  probably  not  complete.  Of  the  New York  crowd,  the  files  in-
   dicate   26   are  in  the  Army,   9  in  the  Navy,  and  5  scattered  between  the
   Merchant   Marine  and  other   auxiliary   services.   Eleven   are   known   to  be
   commissioned   officers   and   the  remainder  are  serving  in  the  ranks.
   These  men,  and  in a few cases,  women,  are as  a  rule cut  off  rather  abruptly
   from  any  direct  contacts  with  the  Groups  and  are  often  subject  to  disturb-
   ing   new   influences  and   unusual   temptations   to  take   that  fatal  first  drink.
   They,  it  would  seem,  face a  harder battle  in  their  recovery  than  most of  us,
   benefiting,   as   many  of   us  do,   from  almost  daily  association  with  our  fel-
   low   members.   Yet   frequently   they  come  through   unscathed!   We   would
   like  to  give  you  a   few  examples  of   their  clear  thinking  along  A.A.  princi-
   ples:

I've earned my  breaks.—I should hate to have
anything  happen  to  me  now, before I have a
chance   to   do   something,    however    small,
worth-while   with   my   life."   (This   man  had
worried  about  not  getting   the  spiritual  side
of   the   program.  Ed.)

                             *

THE  WORDS OF A  DANGLING  MAN

"Off  Again,  On  Again  Finnegan"  has a  new
lot  of   loyal   rooters:   the  "You're In—You're
Out" selective service inductees, aged twenty-
six  to  thirty-eight.
For  the  past  six  months,  on  alternate  Tues-
days,   the  Home  Editions  of  the   paper  you
read  had  us  in  the  Army or  Navy  "within  a
month",  but by  Seven  Star Final  time, one of
the  two Washington authorities  (the one who
hadn't   had  a   press   interview   earlier  in  the
day)   was  quoted   as  saying  that   men  over
twenty-six    would   probably    not    be  called
"until  later  in  the  year."  And so it  goes, and
so we go—crazy!
But   wait:   Easy   Does  It.   How  thankful  I've
been    for    having    that    little    "punch-line"
pounding  into  my  daily  living.  To  me, that's
a  first  "first  step."  It  keeps  me from jumping
at  conclusions,   making  snap  judgments,  be-
coming    excited   or    irritated   over   the  way
things  "seem"  to be. It cautions  me to cut my
pace,   mentally,   and   make  certain  things are
as  they  may  seem.
It  permits,  above all,  the serenity  that comes,
with   reflection,   as  I   repeat   the  process  of
turning  my  will  and  my  life  over  to the  care
of  My  Higher  Power.
Does   that   sound   simple?   Or  do  you  think
I'm   putting   down   one   little   word  after  an-
other   here  because  that's  what  our  program
tells  me  I  should  do?   Well,   I'll  tell  you,   if,
twelve   months   ago,   I  had   been  riding  the
Selective   Service   Merry–go–round  (without
A.A.)  two  things  would   have happened:  (1)
My wife would have been relieved at the pros-
pect   of   my   being   in   service, preferably  in
Timbuctoo   (if   that's  at   the other  end of the
world);   and   (2)   I   would   have   been  a  rip-
roaring,  hell–bent–for–another–drink, psycho-
neurotic alcoholic.
Today,  I'm  sober  and  not  in  service.
Tomorrow,  I  may be  in service, I  don't  know.
But  I  do  know  that  tomorrow   I'll   be  sober,
through    the   Grace  of   God  and  Alcoholics
Anonymous.                                             David R.
A  Navy   lieutenant   (j.g.)   who   joined  A.A.
over  two years ago,  wrote us  recently  from a
South    Pacific   Island — "Your    mention   of
John N.— (an  A.A. of  even  longer  standing,
now  a  lieutenant  in  the  Army. Ed.)  "caused
me  to   investigate— He  was   evacuated   for
stomach   trouble   two   days  before  I  looked
him  up and for four months he had  been only
half  a   mile  from   my   camp.   Such   is   life!"
(Both   these   men  have  had  fine  records  of
sobriety with A.A. and have now seen consid-
erable service at an advanced  base.  What  an
A.A. meeting  that  would  have been. Ed.)

                             *

In  December,   John  N.—,  the  Army  lieuten-
ant,  had  written—"We have arrived at a  New
Island   and   are  set  up  in  a  coconut  grove.
Your   letter  was   most   welcome.  How  often
these days  I  think of  the  fine times  I  had  in
A.A.  and  the  wonderful  people  I  have  met.
The  whole  thing   means  an  awful  lot  to  me
and  I  thank  God  for  being  allowed  to  be  a
part  of   it .  .  .   My   work   is  interesting  but
hectic   but   I   have   really  improved  on  the
'Easy  Does  It'   department.   I  know  who  to
thank  for  that  to.—So  Flushing  has  a  sep-
arate  group  now—That  is  wonderful!"

                             *
Again  we quote our naval correspondent—"I
should like to address an A.A. gathering now,
as  I  have a  perspective that  few get  the op-
portunity  to  enjoy,  having  been  completely
apart  from  the  Group for  nearly a  year,  and
it is easy to see the fundamentals closely, and
determine   the   main   factors—I   think  even
more  closely  than   when  one  is  steeped  in
A.A.  work  with  daily contact.  It  is easier  to
see  how  the  program  works  into  every day
normal  life  too."

                             *
Once more,  from  Bob H.,  now  an  Army ser-
geant   overseas,   written   last  Thanksgiving
Day—"When I think  of  myself  just eighteen
months ago,  I  realize,  too,  just  how  much  I
have  to  be thankful  for.  I've  been  more for-
tunate than  most—maybe  some  day  I'll  feel

Copyright The A.A. Grapevine, Inc., June 1944
In practicing our Traditions, The AA Grapevine, Inc. has neither endorsed nor are they affiliated with Silkworth.net.
The Grapevine®, and AA Grapevine® are registered trademarks of The AA Grapevine, Inc.

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