Soldier Attention: A Private Word with You



Soldier Attention: A Private Word with You


World War I pamphlet warning soldiers of the effect of sexually transmitted diseases. 


"Soldier, you responded when your country called. You have put your strength, your manhood and your hope into this war. You want to be a clean-cut fighting-man. You want ours to be the most efficient army in the world. You want the army to win. 

You cannot be a clean-cut fighting-man, you cannot do your part in making a great army and you cannot do your best toward winning the war unless you avoid immoral women. For from these women comes disease. From disease come inefficiency. From inefficiency comes disaster.

It is unpatriotic to be immoral. A good soldier will not hazard his physical fitness and his moral cleaness by association with bad women. every man who is moral adds to the strength of the army. Every man who is immoral invites the ruin of the army and the death of himself and his comrades-in-arms.

Europe had dound this out. Our associates in the great war for democracy-French,British,Belgian, Russian and the rest--have all seen that the disabilityfrom venereal disease has weakened their armies and has been one of the causes that have postponed final victory. If you want to save America from like experience--if you want victory to come quickly and certainly--you can at least do you share toward keeping the army morally clean and morally straight. 

Sexual intercourse is not necessary to good health. Self control is. Whihc will you exhibit--the spirit of a man, strong and self-contained, or the spirit of your worst self?

We ask you to follow honestly and literally the health regulations of the army. 

We ask you to keep in touch with your home-folks and to remember that you are fighting for the clean things of life--for home, for sweetheart, for sister and for mother.

We ask you to engage only in such amusements as will keep your body in good condition, remembering that clean athletics and manly sport will help prepare you to meet the enemy.

We ask you to guard your own conduet while on furlough and to help the other fellow keep straight.

We ask you to remember what your body means to your country and your flag: Care for it as a precious possession, dedicated to a worthy cause without reproach or strain.

We ask you to remember that you represent the honor, the character and the cleanness of America: By your acts your nation will be judged.

This little message is written you from a conference held in the office of the Governor of Virginia and it is signed by friends. 


State Board of Health of the Commonwealth of Virginia


William E. Blake collection, Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, VCU Libraries


State Board of Health of the Commonwealth of Virginia


Between 1914 and 1918


Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, VCU Libraries


The organization that has made the Item available believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries. Please refer to the organization that has made the Item available for more information. 
Acknowledgement of the Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is requested.


Learn more: 
Public health, Social Welfare History Image Portal 
When They Come Home, Social Welfare History Image Portal
When You Go Home, Take This Book With You, War Department, Commission on Training Camp Activities

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State Board of Health of the Commonwealth of Virginia , “Soldier Attention: A Private Word with You,” Social Welfare History Image Portal, accessed September 21, 2021,