I joined the Army

I joined the Army at age 16, and didn’t start Basic Training until Sept 19, 1961, which put me at age 17.
I was the youngest in the Training Company at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

After Basic Training I went home and was politely told that they had no room for me.
So I went on to my next Training Assignment at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

After about eight weeks I finished Training there as an Artillery Surveyor (surveyed in targets).
From there, I went to Jump School at Fort Benning ,Georgia for about seven weeks.
I was actually too young for Jump School but I told them I lost my ID Card,
and when they made me out a new one, had my date of birth changed to qualify.

From there on to Korea for 13 month Tour of Duty.

I must admit I did grow up fast.
While my class was getting ready to Graduate, I had already gotten my High School equivalent Diploma through the GED Testing System.
I was 17 and the average age was 20 and above. It was hard cause most of the men were Drafted into Service and all I ever heard was how stupid I was for joining, but they knew nothing of my home life and living with a father that hated you, cause he knew deep down I wasn’t his son.

From Korea to Germany.

The beer was as fine as the Fraulines. I even brought home an Oktoberfest Bride.
From there back to Fort Lewis, Washington where I departed for Vietnam.

I had no time to acclimate my body to the Nam temps.
Due to the need for recon sergeants, I was sent straight to the field, and acclimatised as I progressed with time.

As for the bugs you learned to deal with them. Sometimes while on recon, any movement you made could be your last, so if a bug or a rat was looking you straight in the eye, you dare not move for fear of giving away your position.

Yes I went from one Infantry Unit to the next, staying as close to the front as you could get.

I did this for 343 days.
13 days from time of being MEDOVAC’ed =356 days plus 5 days in-processing to my Unit.
Out of the 343 days I had returned to by base unit only 3 times, mostly just for overnight and then on to a new assignment.

I served with the Army Republic of Vietnam, 2. Military Advisors Vietnam 3. Korean Tiger Division. My Base Unit was 5th of the 27th Field Artillery  “A” Btry Capt Kelly was the CO.

We were assigned to the 101st Airborne Division Phan Rang Vietnam.

I am not bragging but I received the Army Commendation Medal for doing more than what was expected of me.

Please always remember our Cause was Just.
No more no less.