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April 9, 2010

Oroville Mercury Register
April 13, 1955

Veda Nelson To Be Delegate To Girls’ State
Veda Nelson, 16, Oroville Union High School junior, has been selected as Oroville’s representative to the 12th annual California Girls’ State June 22-29 in Sacramento. She will be sponsored by the Oroville Unit No. 95, American Legion Auxiliary, Mrs. Leo Wenner, local Girls’ State chairman, announced today. Miss Nelson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Nelson, was selected by her classmates and teachers as the girl most likely to be a class leader. Her selection was approved by the auxiliary and by James C. Nisbet, high school principal. Girls named to attend Girl’s State are selected on physical fitness, citizenship, scholarship, leadership, interest in government, and moral character. Only one girl is selected from each school. Girls’ State is designed to give the delegates practical experience in government. The girls are assigned to city areas and then divided into political parties. They develop their own party platform and present their own issues. The delegates set up a city government and elect city officials, and enact ordinances and enforce them. A similar program is carried on through county and state levels.

Mercury Register
August 4, 1943

Training For This War Really Is Tough, Says Man Who Knows
Boot Camp Different From Anything In 1917, Says Man Who Enlisted Then At Age Of 16
The man in uniform in this war learns more than the men of 1917-18, and he learns much of it under conditions of discipline at boot camp more strict than anything experienced then. On the other hand, much of the information comes in interesting doses. That is the conclusion of Pvt. Ray Palmer of Oroville, U. S. Marine who enlisted in the army of World War I, at the age of 16, and who recently completed his boot camp training at San Diego for the present conflict. “If I had known how tough boot camp would be, said Palmer, “I probably would not have undertaken it. But now that it is over and I have survived it satisfactorily, I’m glad I did it. Training for this war and the last one are not at all alike.” Boot camp, he said, is where they “break the wild ones.” The older fellows, like him, don’t have much discipline trouble, for they have too much sense to go up against the rules. The whole platoon suffers for every infraction of the rules, and the unruly boys become very unpopular, he said. “Everything is more technical in this war”, he said. “The method of instruction is different, too. Much of the training comes from movies and lectures. It’s all put to the men in an interesting way.” Palmer even had a good word for the no-coms. They’re not so hardboiled, after all if you behave yourself and follow instructions, he concluded. “Down underneath they’re swell fellows.” He observed.
Palmer was in the artillery for more than a year last time. “I found the fellows at San Diego took orders willingly and that most of them were eager to get all they could from the training.” He said. “None were on a vacation – all seemed to realize they were in for a purpose. Palmer signed with the group from 38 to 45 years of age, but the men didn’t get any kid-glove handling, he said. “Boot camp was really tough,” he said. “We were told that for men of our ages training would be modified somewhat. We must have looked pretty young, because whatever modification was ordered was not noticeable. With the exception that we weren’t given bayonet drill we got everything the other recruits did.” The older men learned how to set up barbed wire entanglements and how to approach and destroy them, had hand grenade practice and went through gas drill. They spent three weeks on the rifle range, working up to the point where they fired 200 rounds a day with an automatic rifle. In shooting for record Palmer qualified as sharpshooter. Palmer, who enlisted as a specialist in the chemical supply department, is now at the marine supply depot in San Francisco following a ten-day furlough after completion of boot camp. He visited here with his wife before reporting for active duty.

Stu’s Notes: I talked to Sherry Morehouse of Oroville Unit No.95 American Legion Auxiliary, she informs me that this above event goes on as always and they will pick a girl from each High School as they have in the past. It will probably be in June. What a patriotic American, enlisting for war at 42 years of age and for the second time. Maybe someone out there will buy him a tile in our Wall of Honor. That’s the least this town can do for Hero of Oroville Pvt. Ray Palmer. I do know of some of our Oroville Veterans Memorial Park members who have been in 2 or 3 wars. They are my Heroes. Oroville Veterans Memorial Park Committee is already working hard on Oroville’s up coming Memorial Day, it will as usual be a day filled with Patriotism. So please plan to take one day out of your weekend of fun to Honor the Men and Women who made your Freedom and Fun possible.