It is already more than a year ago that I became a member of the “Defense Workers’ Army” at our Nation’s Capital. I am working at the Washington Naval Gun Factory, which is one of the largest gun factories in the United States, employing some 15,000 men and women. It is busy continually for it operates twenty-four hours a day, and seven days a week. As yet they leave it up to the individual worker whether he will work Sunday or not, although he must have a good reason for not working. Most of them do not mind Sunday work at all for it means more money. The only ones who detest working on Sunday, besides those who have religious reasons, are those who work on a salary basis, and so, of course, do not receive more pay for the overtime they put in. The desire for earthly gain is very evident.
The housing situation is really acute and although it is possible to find a place to stay, it is usually very crowded and not at all homelike. And when away from home than only does one really realize what it is to be home with your family and friends, who have the same ways of living as you have, especially in Church Life! The churches here are more like Social Centers where people come together and make plans for the coming week and the ministers talk
about what we should do to be saved and live better lives. So I read all the Protestant Reformed Church literature I can because then I know I am getting something that is true.
Everything goes in a rush in Washington and to me the day seems too short. In the morning and evening the buses and streetcars are loaded and many streets have one-way traffic—in the morning towards town and in the evening, away from town—and if it were not for the stop lights there would be a continual stream of cars with no let-up whatsoever until the rush is over for the day.
We get our own meals at the rooming house and it is usually around 7:30 by the time we finish our supper. Every other night I spend a few hours at the Y.M.C.A. for recreation and also to break the monotony of doing the same thing in the shop day in and day out. The other nights I catch up on my reading and writing to family and friends back home.
It is really a marvel how we young fellows have moved about. Boys that I went to school and church with, I now meet in Washington, something which we never thought of when we were younger. So, we never know what the future holds for us, but if we are Christians we do know that “God’s way is best”.