Archibald Droste served in a field artillery regiment of the American Expeditionary Forces. In October 1918, he sent this photograph to his father with this letter on the back:
26 October 1918
Hope you are well again and all through with the flu! This will show you I am in good health. Am also enjoying the work and looking forward to coming home.
Somewhere in France
Droste’s father, William, had probably contracted the deadly strain of influenza (flu) that spread across the globe in 1918. This flu epidemic killed more people worldwide than World War I. Fortunately, William survived the illness. After the war, Archibald traveled and worked with his family throughout the eastern United States. The family lived in Greenfield, Massachusetts, in the 1930s and Rochester, New York, in the 1940s.