Claud was a young (23-y/o) man when he set out from a small town in the American Mid-West with "the world's largest travel agency", the United States Army.
We do not know how much older he felt when he returned.
But we do know a lot about where he was, and when he was there, because Claud collected picture postcards throughout his 'visit' to France.
Almost forty (40) cards bear a date, and most bear a further notation, from "we crossed this bridge" to a simple time-of-day.
Of course, it is possible that the dates are simply the date that the individual card was acquired; hopefully, this will be settled 'some day' by mapping the dates & locations on the cards to show a sensible arc of travel or, even better, matching them to a unit's known deployments.
The cards traveled home in Claud's kit; picture postcards with dates & locations would not have passed the censors.
In late 2015, they ended-up in an auction lot, and came into my hands.
I was able to find, by The Magic Of The Net, census records & graves for Claud, his mom, and his dad ... as well as a recent photo of the family home, courtesy of Realtor.com.
I will be posting a few of Claud's cards here on SCF.
Lets begin with the one card bearing an address, stamp & postmark: an American Red Cross Canteen Service postcard sent to his mother before disembarkation to France, which read:
"Dear Mother; We have just been served sandwiches & coffee here. We had the honor of haveing (sic) Miss Wilson the Presidents daughter to serve us. Love Claud"