Call of Duty


In 1943, the USA was smack dab in the middle of WWII, and graduating college students were faced with the inevitable: enlistment. A cartoon in the Jayhawker magazine shows the four steps awaiting them: graduation and swearing in…


…securing fatigues and heading into combat.


How frustrating it must have been to finally achieve graduation, to fill your head with knowledge, only to enter a war where it may be blown off.

John Conard, Editor-In-Chief, shared these words:



29 thoughts on “Call of Duty”

  1. Great post. That is why they are called the “Greatest generation”. I like to think that the fellow who wrote that poignant piece came back in one piece.


  2. This is absolutely my all-time favorite post of yours (to date anyhow)

    I am moved by the words of that departing student. (Well, ya know, I’m a military man and just cannot help it)

    Thank you so much for sharing this.


  3. Sobering for sure. We’re a different nation now and not necessarily for the better. Looks like you struck a chord or two here, Kerbey.


    1. I’m balancing it out with a funnier post, I promise. It must have been bittersweet to watch your son graduate, knowing full well you had to wave goodbye soon enough.


    1. If this is the same guy, he had ONE HECK OF A LIFE:

      John J. Conard Sr. 1921 – 2007 Lawrence

      Mr. Conard died Friday, Oct. 12, 2007, at his home. He attended Kansas University as a Summerfield Scholar and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism in 1943. Mr. Conard returned to KU after he served in the military and received a Master of Arts degree in political science. He and his wife, Virginia, moved from Lawrence to Paris in August 1949. He wrote his doctoral thesis on the initiatives of France toward the unification of Europe. He served in the U.S. Navy, where he learned to fly dive bombers and served as a flight instructor at the end of World War II. He was an instructor of political science at KU while completing his Master of Arts degree requirements.

      He was appointed to the U.S. Foreign Service and lived in Paris until 1954. He transferred to Washington, D.C., where he worked one year for the government. He served as an elected state representative in Greensburg and was speaker of the Kansas House during his final term from 1967 to 1968. He was the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 1968 and served as chief of staff to James B. Pearson, U.S. senator, in Washington in 1962. Mr. Conard became KU director of university relations in 1970 and then assistant to three KU chancellors.

      He served as vice president of the Higher Education Assistance Foundation, president of the Higher Education Loan Program of Kansas and senate liaison for Gov. Mike Hayden. He was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. He was a member of Big Springs United Methodist Church and a longtime member of Plymouth Congregational Church and Lawrence Rotary Club, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of First Christian Church in Greensburg, where he served as an elder. He personally planted and cared for between 2,000 and 3,000 trees in Greensburg, many of which were destroyed in the May 2007 tornado there. He married Virginia Powell on Sept. 13, 1947, in Olathe. She survives, of the home.


  4. Kerbey My Dear Friend,
    This post has stirred up some serious debate and some serious shit.
    All good though.
    You did smack a hornet’s nest.
    And…ya know what?
    I have to love you for that.
    Swing on over to Mark’s page and read the heady vitriolic comments (yeah, I got on my soapbox, but hey! I tried to gracefully climb down without busting my ass along the way…)

    This post is awesome. Number One on My Blog, (sorry to say)

    You are the best of the rest.


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