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  #16  
Old 09-02-2019, 09:00 AM
Eagle0199
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My Dad was a teacher, activated for WWII and then again for the Korean War for a total of 12 years of active service then another 18 years of Army Reserves. I was an army brat in the 50's and started school in Germany.

Fast forward to the late 60's when I went to college. ROTC was manditory and I wanted Army so naturally they put me in Air Force ROTC. I lasted for two years but didn't do so well at that time and was drafted into the Army. Two months of Basic, two months of Artillery AIT, then straight to Vietnam. My only claim to fame was getting there as a PVT E1 in Oct and immediately being promoted to E2, then in Nov being promoted to E3, and in Dec promoted to SPC E4. Then a few more months before making SP5. Didn't do anything special, they just had a bunch of No Time in Service/No time in grade allocations and didn't want them to go to waste, and I was just sitting there.

Vietnam convinced me that I didn't want to do this for a living (more on this later) so I extended my time there to get an early out and return to college. GI Bill paid for my last two years of college and two years of graduate school.

As a brand new Industrial Engineer I was working hard but could always use more income and a friend talked me into joining the National Guard (went back in as an E5). Seeing my Dad's military retirement pay in addition to his teacher retirement was also a factor. Five years later I was the First Sergeant of the unit. I continued for a total of 10 years as a traditional guardsman. I finally decided I liked the National Guard a lot and applied for one of the full time positions. Best decision I ever made, an immediate $5000/yr pay increase and the BAH and BAS were tax free.

After 10 years of Guard time and 26 years of Active Duty I'm retired military, but was immediately hired as a military contractor after a whole weekend of being retired, and have been doing this for a little over 12 years now. Life is good.

Last edited by Eagle0199; 09-02-2019 at 09:04 AM.
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  #17  
Old 09-02-2019, 09:35 AM
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US Army - Volunteered

Really boring - Farming with my Dad in 1966 and being drafted was a reality so I volunteered for the draft and entered the US Army in March 1966. Inducted in Fort Leonard Wood, MO with Basic & AIT in Fort Hood, Texas. Orders sent me to Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, then back to Fort Hood as permanent party until I won an "All Expenses Paid a Trip to SE Asia" serving with the 25th Infantry Division. Actually spent just under 2 years of active duty. Then a reserve summer camp in 1968.

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  #18  
Old 09-02-2019, 10:46 AM
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I had a great-grandfather in the Civil War, a great-uncle in WWI, my father was in WWII, and no relatives in Korea that I know of.
My 15-month older brother (2 years ahead of me in school) enlisted in '71 after HS graduation, and surprise!, ended up in Vietnam. He was there near the end and finished up his tour in Thailand before coming back and ended his military stint as an MP at Vint Hill farms in VA; the HQ of the long defunct Army Security Agency.


In '73, my job prospects weren't all that rosy, and I wasn't ready for college, so I joined the club and joined the Army. Aptitude tests landed me a gig at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA, followed by some additional training at Goodfellow AFB in TX, resulting in a full year of training in my 4-year enlistment before ever having to "join the Army"
After the training, I got orders for an isolated vacation spot on the Black Sea in Turkey. Two weeks before I was supposed to leave, they changed my orders to Germany. And that, as the saying goes, made all the difference in the world . . . . . . .
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Last edited by gewehrfreund; 09-02-2019 at 10:48 AM.
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  #19  
Old 09-02-2019, 05:53 PM
retiredsarge48
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At the age of 13 my scout troop spent a long weekend at Norfolk Navy Base living in the barracks . From then on I wanted to go into the Navy. Spring of my senior year met my wife and within a couple months knew she was the one for me. I had already tested for the Navy and was supposed to go for the physical and delayed enlistment program. Decided that I did not want to be away from my future wife for six months at a time at sea so I called the recruiter and told him I was not going into the Navy. He was not happy! Next day went to see the USAF recruiter and he was happy to help me. Went for the physical and raised my hand for the delayed enlistment on Aug 18, 1966 and went active on Oct 5, 1966. After basic at Lackland AFB went to Amarillo AFB for Personnel tech school and graduated in April 1967. My wife and I were married on April 26, 1967 and I spent 20 years in the USAF retiring on 1 Nov 1986. I never had a draft card because I was only 17 when I enlisted. The AF was good to us and I look back at those years as the best ones of my life, still miss it.
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  #20  
Old 09-02-2019, 08:05 PM
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Graduated HS in 67, joined AF in 68, turned 19 in basic, went to a couple of tech schools and ended up in Thailand Jan 70. Stayed in 8 yrs, then found a position with the Navy at home. Worked on the Base Fire Dept for 22 yrs got the position of engine driver/operator. Retired at 52 with 30 yrs Fed service.
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  #21  
Old 09-02-2019, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by armytc View Post
?..I was in the PA National Guard TC
Roll On!
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  #22  
Old 09-03-2019, 05:24 PM
retiredsarge48
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James Cottrell, where were you in Thailand. I was at Ubon from May 70 thru Apr 71.
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  #23  
Old 09-03-2019, 05:30 PM
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Sarge48, 70/71 Udorn with ABCCC, 71/72 NKP 1987 Comm, 74/75 NKP again.
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  #24  
Old 09-03-2019, 05:43 PM
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James Cottrell, I remember when we were on the C-130 heading up country from Bankok we stopped at NKP. It was around midnight and we were standing on the apron and I was very glad that I was not staying there. I know the rumor mill was not kind to NKP. What did you think of it?
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  #25  
Old 09-03-2019, 09:35 PM
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Nothing special. Went into the Reserves in 81 and was in the right/wrong place at the wrong/right time and ended up a 2LT. Made a major nuisance of myself so left as a MAJ in 09. Did nothing adventurous, stationed nowhere exotic.
Pretty boring, which I guess was a good thing, considering what was going on in the world.
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  #26  
Old 09-03-2019, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredsarge48 View Post
James Cottrell, I remember when we were on the C-130 heading up country from Bankok we stopped at NKP. It was around midnight and we were standing on the apron and I was very glad that I was not staying there. I know the rumor mill was not kind to NKP. What did you think of it?
Very tightknit outfit. I still connect with guys from there today. We had some great planes there, B-26s, A-1's , 119 gunships. All prop driven. It was almost like going back in history. It was quoted as the worst base in Thailand, and the best base in Vietnam.
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  #27  
Old 09-04-2019, 05:02 PM
retiredsarge48
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If my memory serves me correctly NKP was the smallest base in Thailand. I know both NKP and Ubon were a little to close to Nam for comfort and both were attacked by sappers. They hated our gunships. We had the 16th SOS (AC130 gunships). I was selected (volunteered) as a security augmenter and went thru three days of air base defense training. Our motivation for staying awake on guard duty were the pictures of the remains of the sappers that attacked us a month or two before I arrived. Good talking with you James.
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  #28  
Old 09-04-2019, 07:39 PM
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Graduated from high school in June 1970 and wanted to take a year and continue working. I had worked part time in the summers starting at age 12 and hated school.

My Dad had other ideas and made it plain that if I lived at home I was going to school - otherwise move out.

And, of course there was girl - there is always a girl in these stories.

After a lot of consideration I went to see the Army recruiter in Decatur, Ga. I was VERY fortunate that he was good at his job and didn't BS me. About 2 weeks before I was to report for swearing in my recruiter asked me to come see him. His advice was simple - do the work, pass my training and keep out of trouble - if I screwed up I would be a door gunner in 'Nam by June. Best advice I ever got.

I enlisted in Dec. 1970 and reported to the Atlanta induction station on Jan. 5 1971 then to Ft. Jackson, SC for basic - got the Dear John during my second week.
After basic I was sent to Ft. Gordon, Augusta, GA for advance training in communications and cryptography.

In July of 1971 I reported to Allied Forces Central Europe in The Netherlands as a Spec. 4.
It was great duty in a multi-national assignment and I spent 4 years there.
Came back to the states in July of 1975 with a wife (the Colonel's daughter) and a 2 year old.

Off to Ft Hood, Texas. Assigned to the 3rd Corps. Staff office for Communications & Electronics. Made E5 not long after arriving in command.

In 1977 I was caught up in an Army wide reclassification program and was re-trained / re-classified as tanker in the 1st Cav. Div. Drastic change in my life that eventually caused me to re-think my career course and was Honorably discharged in Jan. 1979 as a Staff Sargent.

Returned to Decatur, Ga with wife and 2 sons.

My military experience was all strictly non-combat - for which I am extremely grateful.

.
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  #29  
Old 09-04-2019, 09:19 PM
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Graduated HS in 68 and had no plans on college. The draft was going big and rather than wonder just when I would get the welcome letter I decided to enlist. Maybe it was rightfully called volunteering for the draft as I only had to go in for two.

I asked the guy if me wanting to be in arty was a problem and what my chances were to get it. If he smirked and rolled his eyes I missed it. So right about the time I was ending basic at Leonard Wood in 70 they came out with the lotto. I was or would have been # 340 something!

All's well that ends well. I have zero, absolutely zero regrets and in that short time I got to be on every side of the howitzers. On the gun, RTO for FO, hauling ammo to FSB's and FDC.
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  #30  
Old 09-04-2019, 10:48 PM
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The greatest generation..........

Not me, but my dad. In early 1941, he decided to enlist for 12 months and get out before the U.S. got pulled into WWII. Well, the best made plans of mice and men, Pearl Harbor happened before his 12 months were up so he got to stay for the duration of the war. He got home right at the bitter end of 1945. During his time in the Army, he spent about 2 1/2 years in China, Burma and India. He was an officer in a supply outfit that ran food, ammo and fuel out on the Burma road until 1944 when the U.S., Chinese, British and Burma armies pushed the Japanese out of Myitkina (pronounced Mitch e na). He was on the first relief supply column to Myitkina after it's recapture. From then on, they took the convoys all the way from Ledo in India to Kunming in China where the supplies and (sometimes) the trucks would be handed over to the Chinese army. By the way, these were the Nationalist Chinese under Chiang Kia Shek. The Burma/Ledo road was over 2000 miles long and had hundreds of switch backs that an American size truck could barely make! Often times, there would be a rock wall on one side and a sheer cliff on the other that dropped 2 or 3,000 feet! One thing that the Chinese troops were known for was that when they wanted a ride, they would stand in the road and point their Tommy guns at the drivers! Anyway, my dad had lots of stories and a bunch of pictures to back them up!
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