Victory Boys and Victory Girls
Not the least interesting and inspiring feature of the United War Work
Campaign, was the movement carried on among the boys and girls of the
state under the official title of "Victory Boys" and "Victory Girls" Earn-
and Give-Division. It was a most effective means of enlisting the rising
generation in this great united drive, which had for its object the providing
of comfort and cheer to the boys in khaki and in blue, as well as conveying
to them the assurance that a united nation stood behind them in this fight
for democracy and the cause of humanity. As was well said by one of the
national leaders: "We cannot furnish an enlisted man better proof of the
solid backing of a closely united nation, nor can we find a better way of
doubly reassuring him in his great trials, of the sincere personal interest
we have in him, than by enlisting one million or more of our young people
to make personal sacrifices for him."
This then, was the central idea of the Victory Campaign, as evidenced by
its national slogans: "A Million Boys Behind a Million Fighters" and
"Every Girl Pulling for Victory." It was emphasized from the beginning
that the "Victory Boys" and "Victory Girls," would not become permanent
organizations. Boys and girls who grasped this opportunity, who met this
challenge to serve and sacrifice, signed-not a membership pledge in an
organization--but a written promise to earn a specified sum of money and
to give that sum to the United War Work Campaign for use in maintaining
the morale of our fighting men, or providing them with the comforts of
home. Their obligation ceases with the payment of the pledge money.
Only in the sense that boys and girls have served their country in the time
of its greatest need, will they remain a "Victory Boy" and "Victory Girl."
Unfortunately, a number of local conditions and circumstances, pre-
vented this campaign from getting a proper start in Wisconsin. The re-
sult was, that an eleventh hour organization had to be effected on the eve
of the opening of the general campaign to push the Victory Division in our
Mrs. James E. Mehan and George A. Burns of Milwaukee, were impressed
into the service as state directors, with the idea and purpose of giving
such aid and suggestions as could be done by bulletins, correspondence, etc.
Miss Roe and Mr. Bradshaw of the general state staff worked in conjunc-
tion with Mrs. Mehan and Mr. Burns in directing the "Victory" campaign.
Forty of the seventy-one counties in the state featured the "Victory"
campaign while reports, more or less complete, have been received from
thirty-one of these. Those not reporting were organized and several com-
munications are on file indicating at least probable active participation on
their part. In some cases, no account was kept as to the number of boys
and girls enrolled, the amount of money pledged being the only record
available. In a few localities, teachers who understood the motives of the
campaign, unfortunately insisted upon cash subscriptions, thus losing the
"give and earn" feature which should have been an essential part of the
drive. In a reading of the results obtained by counties, it must be remem-
bered that the aim in this state was, "boys and girls," not money. As
pointed out in the bulletins issued from the state office, emphasis was