VE to VJ Day: The Job Done

In September the 89th was alerted for movement home. Some 9,000 Westerners whose Adjusted Service Rating score was below 60 points, the minimum for return with the Division, were sent back to Germany for occupation duty with the 83rd Infantry Division, or remained in France as a closeout force. Nearly 10,000 high-pointers swelled the ranks for discharge in the US. The 89th Infantry Division was inactivated.

The Doughboys had come a difficult, far road from Camp Carson. They had climbed mountains, waded swamps, been tired, hungry, homesick. They had seen their buddies fall beside them, had sweated out fear and boredom. They never would forget the common bondage that links all soldiers who have fought together in a good cause, the feeling that for at least once in their lives they have worked single-heartedly to satisfy one of the most ancient urges of sensitive men: the desire for freedom and justice. Even in the Valley of the Shadow, the men with stumbling feet, bearded faces, hot rifles, had carried a conviction that it was better to perish than to permit evil and brutality to darken their world, and the world of their children. As the tread of marching feet died away, the 89ers looked about their quiet world, even with its possibilities of disillusion and future conflict, and found it good.

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