January 8, 1907


Local Enlisting Stations Put Ban on "Hobo" Soldier

Officers in charge of the local army and navy recruiting stations have placed the ban on what is known as the "hungry" enlisters. This removes a solace of the wandering youth who strikes out to see the world in true hobo style.

Since the establishment of recruiting stations in the larger cities of the country it has been no uncommon thing to enlist "hungry" recruits who first exhausted every other means of existence and after a day or two without food appeared at a recruiting station and enlisted in the army. Many times they called for a meal before completing the examination which they are obliged to take.

Sometime the man who enlists will tell why he does it, but this is not often. If the true reason was always given and entered in the records the enlistment book would be a series of tragedies. Aside from the hungry ones who find themselves out of work, money or friends and espouse the army or navy as the only means of securing a good meal and more to follow there are those who enlist as the result of lovers' quarrels, some out of the pure desire for adventure and others to satisfy the "wanderlust." It is safe to say that but few enlist with a high idea of patriotism growing out of a desire to serve their country.

In Kansas City, however, there is a high percentage of enlistments in both army and navy. According to the officers in charge of the respective stations this city furnishes an average of seven men weekly to the navy and six to the army. Both stations turn away many applicants who come in under the "hungry" list.

In smaller cities there is still hope for the hungry man, as officers in charge of the recruiting stations want to make a showing and keep their offices open. For this reason they are not too particular about the class of recruits so long as they total up in the showing made by the station.