Monday, July 15, 2019

Personal camo outfit local purchase, dressed for OPFOR
  In 1968, I was an infantryman, 11B assigned to an artillery unit, C Battery 7th Battalion of the 17th Field Artillery. Where I would attempt to do the best I could, but I was always learning how much I didn't know as I tried to get in charge of my life. I became a real 13B corporal by another corporal being busted for breaking a rule, and the senior sergeants and the commander thinking I could handle others as I learned about the artillery on a  howitzer, 105mm towed. I went to a school to learn ballistic computations and become part of the Fire Direction Center, then another school for small unit leadership and tactics, called the Advanced Combat Training Academy, My commander and his driver/clerk came to visit half way through the course. Saw I was doing well and they put in my promotion to Sergeant the following Monday. Come graduation day, I was number two in the class and to be honored for that with four others. All would be called and presented promotions by their battalion Commanders, The best in class actually got staff sergeant stripes, and I was given acting sergeant stripes by my battalion commander (which he kindly apologized for the not having real ones). Get back to the battery and the Battery Commander and the clerk would give me orders for a real promotion to Sergeant 13F Recon Sergeant dated ten days earlier than the graduation. I was also given the Fire Direction Center/section to be in charge of after forgetting most of my computation skills from that earlier school. Ugh! back to the books and the additional duty of Training NCO for the 1SG/BC, as well as periodically being the Recon Sergeant for when we fielded a FO team for our Infantry Battalion. Times were good!
   In 1969 my mother wrote and said my cousin was getting married in Seoul Korea, and I was the closest relative and I needed to get there and see the wedding and write her all about it. So I asked for
Fixing cousin's uniform, day of the Moon landing
and got a pass, put on some blue jeans and some kind of shirt with buttons and a cigarette pocket and went to find my cousin. My mother loved family, and weddings in general. I went boldly, and found him, he lent me a civilian suit (I wasn't a fat old man then) and I became a best man at his wedding, an honor I have never repeated in my life, says something about how anti-social I have been. It was cool and as soon as I could I broke free and returned to my unit and my girl friend that was sure I was getting married to another woman - language lag is amazing, must have corrected her confusion. Since yesterday I left an Appleseed after lunch and some Dangerous Old Men story, drove home, cleaned up, picked her up (my girl friend became my wife) and we went to a party, which I reported in for the final five minutes and we spent the next four hours catching up and reliving long ago and far away. The good things become the best things when they cost just a little effort and are done with love. Remember this story will disappear when Google decides they don't like it, marriage, military, families and not making a dime on it. But the marriages and lives mentioned march on. Y'all be great, because you have already mastered good!

1 comment:

  1. Great story, and the cream DOES always rise to the top (with some work)! :-)