During World War II, I attended North Dallas High School and joined the Girl’s Victory Corps as soon as it was organized. Our gym teacher, Miss Keller, had started the organization in March of 1943. We volunteered to join but had to furnish our own uniforms. Our school principal, Mr. E. B. Comstock said this showed our support for the young men serving our country in the war. After I graduated, my sister, Jean Riek, joined the Corps and was able to wear my uniform.
The Red Cross held a blood drive in down-town Dallas to help the many men wounded in battle. We, who volunteered to give blood, stood in line outside the store and all the paperwork was done at a table set up on the sidewalk. The drive was so successful that a marker was later placed at that location to commemorate the event.
My sister, Jean, and I were members of the Elks’ Sweetheart Drum and Bugle Corps. I played the drum and Jean was a bugler. We took part in parades and a patriotic event in the Hall of State at Fair Park, which commemorated Flag Day on June 14, 1943. I was chosen to help promote the Elks’ War Bond Drive. The three-day continuous bond selling campaign was held in conjunction with the annual Elks state convention. The booth was placed right out on Commerce Street. The first day of the drive brought in $10, 281.20 in stamp and bond sales.
We lived on Belmont Street in Dallas and our mother always kept a flag with two navy stars displayed in the window to signify my parents had two sons serving in the war. We were blessed not to have a “Gold Star” as that meant that a son had died in the service of his country.
Letters were very important to our service men while they were away from home. I wrote letters regularly to both of my brothers, F. B. and George. I also wrote to a young Navy man that I had met in Orange, Texas while visiting my best girl friend whose father moved the family there while he worked in the shipyards. The sailor and I continued to correspond as pin pals until he returned safely home.
By Mae Riek for Proud Heritage, Vol. III by Dallas County Pioneer Association