Boot Camp

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by UserID, Sep 8, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. UserID
      Lucky

      UserID Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tampa, FL
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/01/1972
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Artillery
      While in boot camp in Great Lakes, Illiinois, (June 1969), I was not alone in regard to family, for my identical twin brother and I enlisted at the same time. Because we both had musical talent, we were chosen to not go through boot camp like other men. Instead, we were assigned to the jazz ensemble, we thought.

      Somewhere, somehow, someone changed their mind, for when we were being interviewed for placement in the music program, the interviewer discovered I could type 65 WPM ( I type 85 now). He immediately forgot the music department, smiled widely, and assigned me to be a Drill Instructor’s assistant for a group of poorly capable enlistees. The name of the outfit was called MIC or Mickey Mouse by the staff, designed to train men of limited competence to fold their clothes, linen and towels, and to make their beds, properly. In addition to my office work, I led the men to chow, to get shots and physicals, and returned them to the barracks.

      My brother, Dennis, also was reassigned. We think it was because the jazz ensemble was becoming less important. Rather than play his guitar, he was selected to be a night time Master at Arms who roamed the building in search of enlistees who were breaking the rules. He was given training for the position and accordingly outfitted. While our boot camp training was underway, we seldom met unexpectedly. Daylight duties had Dennis leading large group exercises on the grounds.

      It was my job to write to all of the families of the men in my unit to inform them their son would be delayed in coming home as he was being placed in a program to prepare him too pass the living requirements. Also, I typed various forms of correspondence conveyed to me by the D.I. Only one mistake did I make in those six or so weeks when I accidentally jumbled addresses and names of two men in the letters I sent home to their loved ones. The D.I. would not forgive me.

      As I see it today, it was an easy mistake to make by a seventeen year old, but the D.I. really laid into me for my oversight and refused to recommend me for yeoman school. It was one of the deepest hurts I encountered while in the Navy. Had I become a yeoman, I could have advanced more easily. Instead, I was placed aboard a destroyer to chip paint, and scrub and grind floors.

      While we were in boot camp, we were asked where we’d like to be stationed. Both my twin brother and I selected the Noa, on which, Tony, our older step brother, was already aboard. Home ported at Mayport Naval Base near Jacksonville, FL, the USS Noa (DD-841) became home for me for a few months past three years.

      Remember the Sullivans during the Second World War? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sullivan_brothers Those men were five siblings who were all killed in action during or shortly after the sinking of the light cruiser USS Juneau (CL-52), the vessel on which they all served, around November 12, 1942 during World War II.

      Debate arose following that tragedy, whether to again allow brothers to serve together aboard the same ship, but no one thought to dissuade us from sticking together.

      Our trio, unfortunately, lasted only briefly.

      For shortly after he arrived to home port after deployment on a West Pac cruise (Vietnam), Tony raced to PA to be with his wife whom he was unable to trust. He never returned. We saw him for a mere few weeks before he chose to go AWOL (absent without leave).

      The Shore Patrol finally caught up with him, after which he was sentenced to the brig and given a discharge that may have been less than honorable. I never found the truth about that, and he never registered with a VA hospital, so he may not have been eligible.

      Discharged in June, 1972, I walked to the road, stuck out my thumb, and managed a ride to the beach. Dennis had already been discharged for some molehill that was made into a mountain. I can still feel those thoughts in my mind as I stood on the base for my last time, "Where will I go now?" When confused, I always say, do something right, and so I enrolled in college before the year ended, and stayed in school for the next nine years. A hard road it was, but worth every bit of effort.
      David
       
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    2. Marlene
      English

      Marlene Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poole Dorset England
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bacterial virus
      What a recall to service time ,made me smile ,as a former service wife of many years ,my husband had a lad ,who had a girlfriend who was a trainee hairdresser ,he turned to one Monday ,all ready for my husbands inspection my husband noticed a bit of Green hair showing under his beret only a tad showing my husband told him remove beret ,marine reluctantly removed it ,his hair was totally Green ,this lad the plonker had only let his girlfriend colour his hair at the weekend ,well husband was livid at this lad 19 yr old ,lad had to go to camp barber to get shaved off then and there.all the other lads took the Micky out of that lad for days after .the lad was scalped by camp barber,lesson learnt by all those lads that day don't turn to with hair colour on .
      The stories my husband tells about his time 24 yrs in Royal Marines ,and these chaps antics
      ,said that time he went back into his office he was in fits of laughter ,out of earshot.Marines always said husband was strict but very fair boss .
      Back in the 80's I done part of the Marine assault course along with 15 other wives honest just one of the best laughs ever,3 PTI 's took us ,we swore they put water down under these obstacles ,we were coverered in that much mud ,even the recruits stood and laughed at state we ladies were in at the end. We never got a Green Beret we deserved one .One hard course we were shattered.Good old days David
      Thanks for your recall again,and you went on and done well,showed determination to put yourself through school
      I'd re enlist him up tomorrow,best life ever,where's the papers . Marlene
       
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    3. UserID
      Lucky

      UserID Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tampa, FL
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/01/1972
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Artillery
      Wow, the wife of a Marine! Gotta hand it to you, it's not the life some couples would want with all the moving about, but you both did it. Thanks for serving, to both of you. The wife serves too in my opinion.

      I suppose I could pull loads of stories from my Navy days, the good and the bad: rough seas, seeing the starving poor all around the Middle East and Africa, watching whales as they swam along the ship, picking off the deck flying fish most every morning, waking up very early when I worked alongside the cooks to retrieve their goods for the morning meal, sleeping just behind the foc'sle where rough waters caused the bow to rise so high I thought I was in an elevator, and then, boom! down into the water at the other side of the wave.

      I smiled reading you completed a Marine assault course, Marlene. It's hard to imagine women doing that, and you laughed while you did it. Must have been the mud that tickled you.

      I miss the water, the solitude, the sound of the ship running through the ocean, the salty air. If only I'd had a good first duty station, I might have stayed on. David
       
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    4. Marlene
      English

      Marlene Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poole Dorset England
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bacterial virus
      With Marines it's land and sea,he spent time over in Northern Ireland ,back in the 70's ,scary for families to watch that going on ,on the TV ,think worst was the Argentine invasion of the Falklands ,he went down South on the Sir Galahad ,which got bombed by Argies.We were watching that on live TV as the ship was burning ,faces pressed up to the screen to see if he was one of those being brought to shore on one of those little rowing boats ,took 5 hours before being notified his unit was off that ship.my husband had already spent a year on the Falklands prior,so didn't think a year later he'd be down there again ,but that's service life,you just get on with it . Since that time nothing since has been broadcast live ,Goverment learnt that lesson,especially with Afghanistan and Iraq being as bad as that's been .Always got soft spot for the families of service .
      Never know how far you may had gone had you stayed in as you said that first duty station changed your career path.
      The laughter for us wives David was the fact you couldn't see a bit of colour on our track suits ,just mud ,I can still see us girls now,those PTI 's thought it funny ,they were still cleanish ,still see white and red on their gear .
      Good morning all round. Marlene Ps Falklands still British ,and will continue to be so ,that's the islanders choice .
       
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    5. jimH
      No Mood

      jimH Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      30 years+
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      You brought back some memories again, David.

      I did my Boot Camp there in the Winter of '66. I remember it being so very cold. The clothes were frozen stiff when we brought them in from the clothes lines. I was the 2nd platoon leader for my Company. After boot camp I went on to Engineman School then Sub School in New London. Upon graduation I was sent to a sub home ported in Pearl Harbor.

      I was an Engineman and was therefore sent to a diesel electric sub rather than a nuclear powered one. I know that the many hours of exposure to the noise level of the engineroom is where the damage to my hearing began.

      In a little over two years I was a 2nd class petty officer. That year, 1968, I lost a good friend when the USS Scorpion sunk in the Atlantic. He had been one of my Sub School classmates. I made two West Pac cruises during those Cold War years. After that I was honorably discharged in 1970.
       
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    6. Marlene
      English

      Marlene Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poole Dorset England
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bacterial virus
      A good read Jim,the memories are like just yesterday,Sad you lost your friend ,but you've kept him in mind over the years.When in the services,you make those you meet,friends for life.its hard to explain it to civilians ,my husband just had a reunion in July ( 2days ) at Lympstone Devon ,it's like they only saw each other the day before. They just pick up where they left off .How many civilians can do that ? Royal Marines are a close knit family ,always have been ,I'm still in touch with service wives from way back ,I've got more in common with them ,than civilian women I meet on day to day basis ,strange but how it is .
      Husbands got his own RM site ,so they still chat away daily ,some all over UK ,and the furthest are in New Zealand .ONCE A MARINE ALWAYS A MARINE .
      Good on you and David and all your service personnel ,in keeping us in freedom ,and our shores safe .Not easiest of jobs in life ,far from it .
       
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    7. UserID
      Lucky

      UserID Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tampa, FL
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/01/1972
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Artillery
      How great to meet a fellow shipmate who spent nearly the same years I did in the service of his country. Sad, that you lost a good buddy on the Scorpion. I have read that the cause was questionable. Some say it was an accident; some, that the cause is unknown. What do you think? Ninety-nine of the crew died. What a loss! That must have sunken your spirits for a long time. I know how close men become when they share military duty with a buddy who "gets it" whether they are the gung-ho types or not.

      I went into boot camp E1 and was discharged after over three years an E1. It was a terrible duty station aboard a ship whose crew I would not have trusted had we actually met up with the enemy. Many of us, including me, kept a block of Pakistani hash in our pockets at all times. Plus, we were a vessel that was slowly breaking down, so we couldn't really be trusted to act as anything more than friendship ambassadors. Soon after my discharge, the Noa was given to the Spanish.

      For the last portion of my enlistment I was a boiler tech. Then, three months prior to my leaving, I had a religious experience that changed my attitude and work habits dramatically. I was a persistent rebel, prior to that, who spoke the hard truth when I thought it needed to be said, and was always going before the Captain. Loads of extra duty was the consequence.

      You, obviously, got a few more breaks than I did. The best I could do was to earn a GED, and with that, enroll into college. Thanks again for your service, Jim.
      David
       
    8. jimH
      No Mood

      jimH Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      30 years+
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      So very true, Marlene! I went to a 30 year reunion some years back and it was just like you wrote, our friendships just picked up where they left off. Immediately at ease with each other, laughing and chatting away as if only a short time had passed since we last saw each other. The Royal Marines have a great and distinguished history of service. I'm so glad that we had Great Britain and Canada as our allies during WWII!
       
    9. jimH
      No Mood

      jimH Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      30 years+
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      David,

      Regarding the reason for the loss of Scorpion, You might want to read this article:

      http://articles.dailypress.com/1993-10-26/news/9310260116_1_uss-scorpion-canary-islands-navy

      I believe it to be the true cause for the loss of the ship. That is, a malfunction of a Mark 37 torpedo. Within two months of the loss of Scorpion, all of our Torpedomen were sent to special classes regarding it. One of my shipmates told me that a MK. 37 could "hot run" if certain maintenance and testing procedures were not strictly adhered to.

      "Hot Run" means that it's motors became energized right there in the torpedo room. I'm not sure as to what would have happened if they kept it in the torpedo room with the propellers spinning violently. Perhaps it would have eventually detonated. I can't imagine any other reason that they would load it into a torpedo tube and fire it. Particularly being that it was a torpedo equipped with sonar. Maybe they were in such a desperate situation that it was their only option.

      I think that the more likely scenario is that it detonated inside of the torpedo room.

      Btw, I also want to thank you for your years of service to our country.
       
    10. Marlene
      English

      Marlene Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poole Dorset England
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bacterial virus
      Glad your reunion went off great ,they always do Jim ,old war stories hey .while there still few of them they try to keep it every 2 years ,all getting on now bless them ,and health issues come up,but they turn up 140 were there in July ,husband came home sore throat all the chat that goes on ,me and daughter thought it funny ,like it all week he was ,but god willing he will be at the next one .I love to see the photos of there reunion Jim .
      I get called Sunray by them after an exercise they went on .We all go back years ,moved around together ,so us wives stayed in contact ,like you do ,children grew up together .so again felt like family for the service kids ,only one they had .
      WW2 sad time but all stuck together ,such a great loss of life ,my dad lost 2 brothers .Think UK and US close to this day ,along with the Commonwealth countries .All good to me Jim
       
    11. Blair14
      Tired

      Blair14 Member

      Location:
      New Brunswick, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      Great stories, I did 22 years in the Canadian Military, an army dude, worked Communications.

      Blair
       
    12. Marlene
      English

      Marlene Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poole Dorset England
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bacterial virus
      That's great Blair ,army hey .Call them pongoes here ,( nickname ) .My husband was a coms man of 24 yrs .
      Do you miss the life ? My husbands father was in the Canadian Army in WW2 .Cant remember off hand what was his job ,got it on his fathers war papers somewhere .Made interesting read when we received them .
      How many reunions have you caught up ? Civvy street totally different to,shock to a service mans system ,after all those years,right eye opener .
       
    13. Blair14
      Tired

      Blair14 Member

      Location:
      New Brunswick, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      Ha yes, I know I heard that, well general infantry here were called grunts, all other trades did not carry that nickname, Sappers were the Engineers, Black Hats were the Tankers etc. I can't say I miss it, too much BS, too short people, too many tasks, do more with less, endless tours for some, now they're coming back with PTSD and I hear tinnitus is now the number one complaint among the soldiers, it used to be PTSD, now #2. Hopefully this gets a move on with research. I haven't heard of reunions per se, people tend to drift off. I was ready to get out, but yes the transition for many is hard if all you know is "inside the gate".
       
    14. Marlene
      English

      Marlene Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poole Dorset England
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bacterial virus
      Hi Blair ,how long you been in civvy street ? I agree some are ready for a normal life beyond the gate ,never heard it said like that before .Think I'm one still behind the gate,even though I didn't take the Queens shilling as husband did ,but married into that life .17/18 years .
      What did you go on and do as a civilian ? My husband noticed the work ethic not as it should be ,first hint of cold people would not show up for work.
      My husband got his tinnitus last year he was in the RM 's ,but he thinks his ear probs came from early years as a signaller ,and having constant headset on ,hours on end ,lots of his mates have T .
      I see the US taking more notice to service men and women having T,don't hear UK saying much about it ,not that I've heard .Dont know about Canadian Goverment and service personnel and T .
      I do agree they should all put money in the pot,get more research done faster .Can but live in hope ,but won't hold my breath .They can't look after the ones suffering PTSD ,lot of them are walking the streets homeless.Its serving and vets who look out for each other .Best wishes Marlene
       
    15. Blair14
      Tired

      Blair14 Member

      Location:
      New Brunswick, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      Hi Marlene,

      Its been 12 years :> and became a Rehab Counsellor for members who are medically released from the military. Wasn't my plan - I was open to suggestions, but I guess that was my place up until the T hit me back about 3 weeks ago. I do not expect to be going back to it, I find it hard to believe there will be much improvement, which sucks as I was looking forward to a much different retirement than I face now. In fact I am now on short term disability waiting to get into mental health with a six month wait list. Yes, the work ethic is certainly different! Well my T I think came from the same, but according to an audiologists I have mild hearing loss in my right and slight in my left. So they say it isn't related to noise exposure. So my question is then, I did not have it before I joined, sensed I had something about 4-6 months before I released, thought it was related to stress and anxiety of release and increased BP likely, had it verified in 2007 I had T managed it for about 8 years since my release at low level has gradually built in the last 4 years and now its blasting out my ears and put me near the edge. Veteran Affairs, like I see in the US is not doing their job. They seem to have a policy of denying claims and making anyone willing, to fight to the end to possibly get any support. The government has no problem sending people into combat to take a bullet, but forget about them when they get home. There are always some who do well. I have been waiting 3 weeks since my initial inquiry and I have been in crisis, so again wave the flag we support the troops, where? They told me I had to wait as I am going faster than the system!
       
    16. Marlene
      English

      Marlene Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Poole Dorset England
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bacterial virus
      My husband never had ear problems either when he joined up,he was 16 yrs old .they get what they want from you ,yes wave the flag ,then out in civvy street ,your on your own most definatley .
      My husband had an ear op ,in the first year he left the service ,he's now deaf in that ear .
      Here the only thing ex service get is they get fast tracked to get any medical treatment ( jump the queue ) but that's it as far as it goes .he was lucky on the job front ,he's a Londoner ,a firm of accountants liked his service CV ,they rang him out of the blue and offered him a job ,so he went to work for them ,he left the RM's as a Warrant Officer / Sgt Major ,so pension is good .
      You have had a bad time with your T ,your at there mercy to get help and they know it that's for sure .
      I'm sure they want people to pay out of there own pockets for medical help,less out of the governments pocket,wears you down I know how that feels .where do you go from here ? Sit on them till they get fed up ,your just a number ,as you were in the Army,out of sight out of mind ,had their pound of flesh .
      Wishing you all the best Blair ,hope soon your have some news .Will keep a look out for your posts
       
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    17. Blair14
      Tired

      Blair14 Member

      Location:
      New Brunswick, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      Wishing you the very best for you and your husband, Marlene.
       
    18. UserID
      Lucky

      UserID Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tampa, FL
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/01/1972
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Artillery
      Good article, Jim. Not knowing much about the workings of a torpedo -- even though my father was a torpedoman aboard a sub (can't recall the name) from 1946-48 (or around there), he taught me nothing about them.

      Aboard a destroyer, we had no torpedoes, but instead shot from 5" 38's gun turrets whenever we played war games. In addition, we had ASROC or anti submarine rockets, an all-weather, all sea-conditions anti-submarine missile system. I don't recall us firing the first one in the three years I was aboard the Noa.

      300px-ASROC_launcher_USS_Columbus_1962.jpg 220px-5-inch_38-caliber_cropped.jpg
       
    19. UserID
      Lucky

      UserID Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tampa, FL
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/01/1972
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Artillery
      Things are supposed to be on the fix, Blair, in the US, now that Veterans Affairs hospitals hit the news big time over the past year. The Sect. of VA in Washington was fired, as was his assistant, and the new guy said he will be looking at claims with more compassion. Yea, definitely, I feel a change coming. Even the suits filed against the VA and their staff, this guy wants to finish off, come to a close.

      Robert McDonald also said “tens of thousands of new doctors, new nurses, new clinicians” will be hired — emphasizing the significance of a shortage of employees who are directly involved in treating patients, a factor many experts said was a main driver in the waiting-list scandal that rocked the agency this year. So, I think things are on the mend. At least it feels that way.
       
    20. Blair14
      Tired

      Blair14 Member

      Location:
      New Brunswick, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      Hi UserId,

      I guess I'm cynical when it comes to supposed change, which takes time and basically an ACT OF GOD or public embarrassment for anyone to do anything and then while it is politically opportunistic until everyone forgets and then live goes on again. In Canada, VA makes subtle changes with a New Veterans Charter in 2007 and then changes from a monthly disability payment to a lumpsum. People first thought that was great, but do the math over your lifetime and see who is ahead. Even while you serve the military only in rare cases support things like massage therapy, chiropractic care, orthotics, etc, its sick! All about the money! I am sure there will be a few that will benefit and hopefully they are ones truly in need.
       
    21. bodhisattva

      bodhisattva Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2014
      Former Navy here... went through bootcamp in Orlando in the summer. They had instituted some deal where when it was above a certain temperature we couldn't go out to the grinder to PT. Our CC's gladly kept us inside and had us 'go to the north pole'... where we closed all of the windows, put on our cold weather gear, and start doing exercises till one of the guys lost his breakfast on the deck. Nasty! Sounds inhumane but it was actually kind of funny, looking back.

      Did a Med cruise in 96 on an Amphib ship. So fun to see those exotic places so young. Also helped to have backup from the Marines and Special Warfare guys when you were out in port. I remember one night in Palma, Spain i have no idea how i made it back to the ship. I was lit up, but sure enough, the next morning i wake up in my rack in my civvies, dragging a$$ to quarters. We had each other's backs. . Good times.

      The CO would always say "now stay out of so-and-so area" when we pull into Naples Italy for instance. That's the first place we would go.

      How the hell i didn't get tinnitus listening to harrier jump jets, 5 inch guns and the CWIS (sea-whiz) and that god-forsaken anchor chain i have no idea
       
    22. UserID
      Lucky

      UserID Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Tampa, FL
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/01/1972
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Artillery
      I just now returned to this thread and read the additional posts. Because I work in a VA hospital, I see veterans from all branches of the military every day. Some have had it really rough. A good example is one of the men who is a frequent patient in the spinal cord injury building. While I worked in his room, he, through the use of a wind pipe, told me the story of when he was shot in Vietnam. That shot caused him paralysis from the neck down.

      Another patient said he was on base, just fooling around at the front of his house on base on his bicycle, doing wheelies. One attempt got away from him and he went down, backwards, his neck hitting the curb, paralyzing him from the neck down.

      The most astonishing event one of the guys in the spinal cord unit who told me he became paralyzed from the neck down after tripping over a water hose he left lying on his yard. The fall caused him to land on his head and twist and break his neck.

      Other guys arrive from the battlefields in all sorts of conditions. One fellow, I recall, had a good portion of his head blown off by and IED, others have lost a leg or arm.

      I recall, as a boy, if I saw a person in a wheelchair, how I thought it would be odd to be stuck in one of them for the remainder of one's life. Now I see as any wheelchairs in a day as there are cars on the roadway.
      David
       
    23. Albert Savage

      Albert Savage Member

      Location:
      Nevada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1972
      Some great (and heart tugging) stories. I was a grunt for 5 1/2 years. Took basic at Ft. Campbell, KY in the summer of 71. Then after Infantry training and Jump school, I volunteered for Vietnam. And promptly arrived in West Berlin.

      Re-upped in early 73 to study Thai so that I could go to Thailand. That summer I arrived at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. A year later, after completing my language training (and meeting my Lovely Bride, a Russian linguist in ASA) I arrived at Ft. Campbell, KY where I was assigned to the 101st ABN DIV.

      We were at Ft. Campbell for about a year and a half (where our Brilliant Daughter was born) and I found out that I had been selected for assignment to the "Old Guard" in Washington.

      And was then promptly sent to the 3d Inf Div in Germany where I spent my last year in the army. I was discharged in early November, 1976.
       

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