On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the United States by bombing our ships at PEARL HARBOR, in Honolulu, Hawaii. This was the beginning of WWII with problems in Europe and the South Pacific.
At that time, we had a volunteer Army and Navy and the individual states had National Guard Units. These military units were immediately sent to war, and many men enlisted in the Armed Services. However, this was not enough, and the government called for a draft. Young men, ages 18-35, registered and as their names were drawn they became part of the United States Army. Much of 1942 was spent drafting these men, sending them to boot camps for training and then shipping them overseas for war.
Because of conflicts in Europe and the South Pacific, the government needed to transport troops to either side of the country. At the time the most efficient mode of transportation was by train, so the military began using special troop trains on existing railway lines. Aberdeen, being a stopping point between Chicago and Seattle on the Milwaukee Railroad, saw a large number of troops coming through town, which led the community to try to find a way to help the war effort.