It wasn't long after Joe wrote the second letter to Mary dated October 1930 that he was once again in "dutch!"
A copy of his United States Marine Corps discharge dated January 16, 1932, indicated his service was terminated prematurely by the Marines with a "Bad-Conduct Discharge." His character was defined as simply "Bad." His final pay voucher was made out for a sum total of $29.51. It also indicated he was not eligible for any travel allowance. So Joe found himself in Bremerton, Washington 3000 miles away from home, broke at the age of 19, as the Great Depression in the United States was gaining steam. He made his way home by "Riding the Rails" as a hobo in boxcars, an absolute disgrace to the family. However he was not alone on the rails, as, at the height of the Great Depression, more than a quarter million teenagers were living on the road in America, many criss-crossing the country by illegally hopping freight trains.
|Joseph Randolph Garner Marine Discharge|
The marriage lasted but a few years, and ended in divorce. Mary Alice remarried and moved to Massachusetts taking the boy with her. Joe then joined the National Guard* ca. 1940-1942 and he later served in the U.S. Army 29th Infantry Division.
*Excerpt From Wikipedia on the National Guard
In August 1940, the National Guard was ordered to federal service for 12 months in anticipation of U.S, entry into World War II.
More than 400,000 National Guardsmen were called up as parts of
divisions or in non-divisional units, immediately doubling the size of
the Army. 18 Army divisions, 80 separate regiments, and 29 Army Air
Force flying squadrons were mobilized from National Guard organizations
beginning in September 1940.
Because National Guard units had been mobilized for over a year in December 1941, they were among the first to enter combat in the following months.
In Europe, the 29th Infantry Division of the Virginia, Maryland and District of Columbia National Guard was one of two assault divisions on Omaha Beach in Normandy during the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944.
National Guard units participated in all combat theaters and took part in 34 separate campaigns and seven assault landings, sustaining 175,000 casualties (killed and wounded).
National Guard infantry divisions which participated in the war included: 26th; 27th; 28th; 29th; 30th; 31st; 32nd; 33rd; 34th; 35th; 36th; 37th; 38th; 40th; 41st; 43rd; 44th; 45th and Americal National Guard regiments were also part of the 7th, 8th, 24th, and 25th Infantry Divisions.
(Photos provided by Joseph Randolph Garner, Jr on January 12, 2015.)