Martin Treptow’s Pledge

Martin August Treptow was a barber from Cherokee, Iowa.  Enlisting in the National Guard, during World War I his unit was called up and Treptow found himself in the 168th Infantry, part of the 42nd Division, called the Rainbow Division by Major Douglas MacArthur, who would rise during the War to eventually command the division, because it consisted of National Guard units that stretched across the country like a rainbow.

July 30th, 1918 was a hard day for the division.  Participating in the Second Battle of the Marne which stopped the last major German offensive of the War and saved Paris from capture, the division was attempting to take Hill 212 on La Croix Rouge Farm and incurring heavy casualties.  A message from Treptow’s unit needed to be taken to another platoon.  Private Treptow did not hesitate, but grabbed the message and ran off with it.  As he neared the platoon leader to deliver the message, Treptow was cut down by a burst of German fire.  He was twenty-five years old.  Sergeant  Joyce Kilmer was killed on the same day, in the same battle, a little bit later.  Go here to read about him.

As his personal effects were being gathered up, this was found on the flyleaf of the diary he kept:


America must win this war.   I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.


Martin Treptow

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  1. Thank you, Donald. I’m sure that by today’s standards, this man was dirt poor. Yet, his love for this country was literally Christ-like. We don’t even have bishops today who have this kind of love for anyone or anything. Remembering the Martin Treptow’s of our past is part of what it means to Make America Great Again. Thank you!

  2. You do realize, Donald, that today’s Gospel reading is John 15:12-17?

    Jesus said to his disciples:
    “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
    No one has greater love than this,
    to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
    You are my friends if you do what I command you.
    I no longer call you slaves,
    because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
    I have called you friends,
    because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
    It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
    and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
    so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
    This I command you: love one another.”

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