Overweight and 44 years old, Billy Levere was unable to get a military post in 1917. Instead, he achieved his goal of joining the war effort by volunteering with the YMCA in France and in the Rhineland.SAE Servicemen
Servicemen gathered at the YMCA canteen Billy Levere ran in France. The soldiers sought comfort in the camaraderie and entertainment offered at the hut. Levere later published a book chronicling his experiences as a YMCA volunteer in a book called The Hut.