Friday, December 26, 2014

You're In the Army Now

You're in the Army Now
You might be surprised to know I was in the army for six years.  It was during the Vietnam era but fortunately I served in several state side locations only.  I have so many memories of basic training. It was the best of times and the worst.  I caught pneumonia during the eight weeks of basic.  We were told that if we missed a week's training we would be recycled.  That meant we would have to start all over again from the beginning.  I was in the hospital for five days.

When I left the hospital I was weak but determined that I would not be recycled.  I was picked up from the hospital and immediately returned to where my unit was training.  As it would be on that particular day we were being driven on a forced march by the drill sergeants.  I don't know how I made it through that day, only pushed forward by determination, but I did.

Part of being in basic training is that there are friends and family at home waiting on your return.  I lived for mail call hoping that there would be letters.  Getting a letter provided a little bit of escape from the present situation.  I would sit on the back barracks steps, a quiet place, to read the letters.

You're in the Army Now reflects the feel of that eight week period of my life.  It was a situation I was forced into but also a time when I was in my best physical shape ever.  I thought I would not survive but I did.  Reflecting back on it I really can not believe I actually lived that part of my life.


jacki long said...

I love hearing your story John.
The push to survive is an mind-boggling thing.
Made you the John we have today, right?
That strange feeling when you look back and amaze yourself.

Claudia MB said...

I'm glad you didn't have to go to Vietnam.

tgarrett said...

This was very much an experience I did not have- When the numbers were being drawn- I was so scared but that is one lottery I did well with. Thank you for sharing John. Interesting technique on this last set!

Cate Rose said...

Another amazing postcard, and a wonderful story. It is truly amazing, isn't it, what we're able to do because we simply must. Have a great weekend!

anonymous said...

Does that marching photo really feature army recruits? They all seem to have such great heads of hair - not the short back and sides at all!