Monday, May 28, 2018

A Missing Son, A Lost Soldier

According to the May 28, 1914 edition of the Los Angeles Herald, a missing young man from Anaheim was finally found under sad circumstances. To explain it all, I must start from the beginning.

John Klassen was born to parents P.M. Klassen and Elizabeth Buller Klassen, both residents of Anaheim, but originally native of Germany. From a young age Johnny had dreams and ambitions to join the military, so when he finally became a young man that was all he thought of.

The newspaper doesn't give specifics on why he couldn't enlist prior but only that he was previously "prevented from enlisting because of his youth".  Could it have been his parents who didn't want him to go? For the newspaper stated he was 19 when he left.

No matter what the case, Johnny ran away to fulfill his dream and enlist in the Army, but when he got there he enlisted under a false name, John King.  Not knowing where he went and why, his parents were distraught over the disappearance of their son and searched endlessly, looking for him.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Johnny was waiting to be sent to the front lines. At one point he wrote his mother a letter telling her that he was in the Army and that he was okay, but he failed to mention that he was listed under a different name. So when his mother wrote him back, she was notified that there was no one enlisted under her son's name. Shocked and devastated, she started to look for him once more.

Eventually Mrs. Klassen was able to track down her son's whereabouts, but sadly it was too late. Johnny had died in the Army hospital in San Francisco. Apparently, he fell ill while he was waiting to be sent out to the war, never being able to fulfill his lifelong dream of being in the Army.

He was buried at the San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio.

Courtesy of Carol (Find-a-grave contributor #46859893)

(Copyright, 2018 - J'aime Rubio, )

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