I enlisted in the Army in February, 1969. I was promptly sent to Basic Training at Fort Riley, Kansas home of the Big Red One. After Basic Training I was sent to the U S Army cshool at Fort Gordon, Georgia and became a teletype operator. My first duty assignment was Fort Bragg, North Carolina with the 50th Signal Battalion ( Airborne ). Oh the joys of jump school and it’s desire to make you do a million push up’s in 4 weeks! After two years of fun in the bright Carolina sun I reenlisted for six years ( Marilyn and I wanted to get married ) and I really liked the Army so why not. When I reenlisted I signed up for and was qualified for the Sergant Guided-Missile Guidance and Control Repairman and was sent to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. The course was 6 months long and the class was composed of about 10 American GI’s and 6 or seven soldiers from the German Army. Wow, what an experience! I then became a part of a Missile Detachment that trained together for an additional 6 months before going to Fort Sill, Oklahoma where we were assigned to an Artillery Battalion. In December od 1964 we were sent to Italy. While in Italy I decided to apply for Officers Candidate School. The Army being what is it said I had to go the 7th Army NCO Academy known as the most demanding NCO Academy the Whole Army. That went very well as I earned one of the two General Douglas MacArthur award for leadership awarded to each class.
Then came OCS a six month school that is designed to separate leaders from non-leaders. That was completed after six months and I was promptly sent to Fort Carson, Colorado to work in the Transportation Office there. In early May of 1967 I received orders to go to Vietnam. From early June through late December I was assigned to the 597th Transportation Company as a platoon leader and immediately undertook the duties of a convoy commander. We ran tractor-trailer convoys from Qui Nhon to Pleiku and back daily. These trips were about 180 miles round trip and took about 12 hours to complete. In late December I was assigned to a small transportation detachment as the commanding officer. About two months later I suffered a shattered elbow while in the city of Qui Hnon and was med-evaced in eary March to Japan. I came home in early April and in June I was sent to Istanbul, Turkey to take a job as the administrative officer for the detachment that received all cargo sent to Istanbul for US forces and military Aid Cargo. In June of 1970 Marilyn, David, Julie and I came home from Turkey and I was sent to Fort Eustis, Virginia. I was assigned to a railroad battalion as a company commander for a diesel-electric locomotive repair company. The next assignment was to go to the Vietnamese Language School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After I had been there for about three months I was notified that I was not going to return to Vietnam and could go to any location in the United States I wanted to go. I chose Camp McCoy, Wisconsin and actually got the assignment. After 6 months or so I was retired from the Army because of my elbow. Total service time on active duty was twelve years and three months and seven days. In todays world and in todays’ time I battle with problems that are Agent Orange related and also Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. If you were to ask me would I do it all over again every bit it with no changes I would have to sayyes. I know that I grew up a lot in these twelve years and learned things such as self discipline and work your buns off which made life as a factory supervisor for 30 years possible. Yes I thank the LORD daily for my life, and for my new life in CHRIST JESUS.