Marcella changes armies

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Marcella Clason is a soldier at last.

Marcella had just turned 17 in 1942 when she read of Canada’s need for young women to serve in its army. Too young to enlist in the United States, she enlisted and headed for training in Kitchner, Ontario. At the station, she was touched to receive a handmade muffler from Salvation-ists.

After a very hard training program, she was sent back to London, Ont., and released for her first furlough. Knowing she needed the tender love of her dear grandmother, Marcella’s mother gave her a ticket to see her in Scha-mokin, Pa.

The train was packed with soldiers either homebound for Christmas or on the move to a new camp. In the bitter cold, passengers were removed from the train to allow for a switch of engines.

“I will never forget the welcome we received as the conductor helped us off the train. There in this below zero weather were Salvation Army lassies behind a big table covered with a white cloth. They were serving hot chocolate and freshly made doughnuts. When it was my turn, the lady handed me a cup of cocoa and a doughnut in a white napkin. When I pointed out that I was in the Canadian Army, she said, ‘You are in the Army, aren’t you? Well, you’re the reason we’re here!’ I have never before or since ever had a more deliciously hot repast.”

Marcella was 18 in 1944, when this introduction to The Salvation Army took place. “This September, 55 years later,” say Captains Clay and Trudy Freeman, “she has become our newest soldier in Sheridan, Wyo. We are all pleased that she has found her church with those who met her need so long ago.”

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