A man riding in a rodeo at the Bainbridge Army Airfield in Bainbridge, Georgia, 1944. Courtesy of the Southwest Georgia Regional Library via Digital Library of Georgia. More info
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"Greetings from Camp Wheeler" postcard, with illustrations of typical camp activities like "shining up," "playing checkers," "writing home," and "the canteen," ca. 1940. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth. More info
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Throughout Georgia, the United States Armed Forces kept up numerous military training facilities, air bases, and induction centers that supported American military interests. More than 660,000 acres of land in Georgia were occupied by the Army; Army mobilization training camps were located at Fort Benning, Fort Oglethorpe, Camp Gordon, Camp Stewart, and Camp Toccoa. Fort Benning, home of the Army Infantry School, was the largest infantry training school in the world.
While living in these camps, most of a serviceman's existence was centered around daily routines. Soldiers often found activities on the base to be monotonous, and sought entertainment in the form of reading, gambling, watching movies, keeping up with correspondence, or seeking other forms of entertainment that were brought to the base.
Entertainment often arrived in the form of camp shows and recreation programs. The military provided its own on-base recreation and leisure programming administered by the Special Services Division; it also sought assistance from the United Services Organization (USO) for entertainment outside the base, and the Red Cross for providing recreation in theaters of war. The USO formed more than 3,000 clubs stateside, while the Red Cross sponsored nearly 2,000 clubs for servicemen overseas.