A SOLDIER'S DIARY

 

 

CW3 GAUMER'S HOME PAGE

HI AND WELCOME TO MY HOMEPAGE. HERE YOU WILL FIND A LITTLE ABOUT MY CAREER IN THE ARMY. I'VE LISTED SEVERAL LINKS I HOPE YOU CAN USE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. LIKE MOST HOMEPAGES, MINE WILL BE UNDER CONSTRUCTION AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. LIKE A FOXHOLE, IT WILL JUST KEEP GETTING BETTER WITH TIME. I'M A COFFEE FANATIC, SO JUST SET DOWN, HAVE A CUP (IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE COFFEE-IT CAN BE WHATEVER TRIPS YOU TRIGGER).

BELOW, YOU WILL FIND A TABLE OF CONTENTS, IF I DID IT RIGHT, YOU CAN JUST HIGHLIGHT THE TEXT WITH YOUR MOUSE, CLICK ON THE TEXT AND YOU'LL GO STRAIGHT TO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO SEE.

Contents

 BACKGROUND

 Hot List

 LIFE AS AN ENLISTED

 LIFE AS A WARRANT

 RETIREMENT

 Personal Interests

BACKGROUND

A LITTLE ABOUT HARRY GAUMER

I WAS BORN EXACTLY WHERE THE GOLF COURSE IS TODAY AT FORT CAMPBELL (SOME FOLKS SAY KENTUCKY BUT I SAY TENNESSEE).

AN ARMY BRAT, MY DAD AND MOM SPLIT SOMETIME AFTER I WAS BORN AND EVENTUALLY MOM MET MY STEPFATHER WHOM I CALL SIMPLY DAD. DAD WAS A WWII VET AND WAS FROM A LITTLE TOWN IN INDIANA CALLED SHELBURN. AFTER HIS ARMY YEARS WERE OVER AND HE AND MOM HIT IT OFF WELL ENOUGH, WE MOVED TO SHELBURN SOMETIME IN 1951. I WAS TWO AND RMEMEMBER IT WELL.

 

THE EARLY YEARS:

 SON YOU HAVE BEEN DRAFTED. YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS ARE IN NEED OF YOUR SERVICES AND YOU WILL FAITHFULLY DEFEND AND STUFF LIKE THAT.

 BASIC AND AIT: BASIC TRINING WAS AT GOOD OLD FORT KNOX, KENTUCKY. HAVE YOU BEEN TO FORT KNOX? HOME TO THE ARMOR SCHOOL, IT SITS NEAR LOUIVILLE AND LOOKS SOMETHING LIKE THIS:

 OFCOURSE THE PARTS I GOT TO SEE WEREN'T EVEN AS NICE TO LOOK AT AS THIS! YES, 3 FEB 69! BRAVO 19/5. A RUDE AWAKENING FOR THE SMALL TOWN KID, BUT ALL A PART OF GROWING UP. DAD SAID SON, WHATEVER YOU DO, MAKE SURE YOU GET AN INSIDE JOB. SO DESPITE ALL THE OFFERS ON THE 3D DAY OF BASIC, I TOLD EM I'D TAKE ANOTHER YEAR IF THEY WOULD LET ME BE A COOK. AND, I WANTED TO TAKE COOK SCHOOL AT FORT LEE, VA. YOU SEE, I TALKED A LOT TO RECRUITERS DURING THE TIME AFTER GRADUATION FROM "NORTH CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL", AND I ACTUALLY LISTENED EVEN THOUGH I HAD NO INTENTION OF ENLISTING.

 I KNEW THAT COOKS ATE WELL, STAYED WARM AND YES DAD, HAD AN INSIDE JOB. SO AFTER PINNING ON THOSE E-DUCE WINGS AFTER BASIC, OFF TO FORT LEE I FLEW.

 DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST PLANE FLIGHT? WOW, I WAS A SUCKER FOR FUN, TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE (FTA). BY THE WAY, HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO FORT LEE OR ANY OF THE MYRIADS OF MILITARY PLACES IN VA? IF NOT, HERE IS A PEEK AT THE QUARTERMASTER MUSEUM AT FORT LEE.

 I SPENT TWO WEEKS SHINING THE FLOORS IN THIS PLACE SO DON'T LAUGH! I GOT THERE A COUPLE WEEKS EARLY, AND EVEN THOUGH DAD SAID DON'T VOLUNTEER FOR "NOTHIN", I COULDN'T RESIST THE MUSEUM. IT'S FULL OF QM STUFF AND ALL KINDS OF UNIFORMS, WEAPONS, AND SOME SOUTHERN RELATED THINGS SINCE IT'S RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO THE PETERSBURG BATTLEFIELD. YOU DO KNOW ABOUT THE PETERSBURG BABBLEFIELD DON'T YOU? THE LAST GREAT BATTLE OF THE CIVIL WAR, A SEIGE THAT LASTED OVER A YEAR, WITH LOSSES ON BOTH SIDES. MAKES YOU WONDER HOW VIRGINIA ENDED UP WITH SO MANY MILITARY BASES. THEY LOST THE CIVIL WAR.

 VIETNAM HO CHI MIHN CITY, HUH!

AFTER BASIC AND AIT, OFF I WENT. LANDED IN LONG BIHN AND AWAITED AN ASSIGNMENT. AND I'LL BE DARNED IF I DIDN'T GO TO THE 101ST AIRBORNE DIVISION WHICH WAS BEING RENAMED - 101ST AIRBORNE DIVISION (AIR ASSAULT). I WAS ASSIGNED TO THE 1/502d INFANTRY THAT WAS AT LZ SALLY AT THE TIME. WHAT A WORLD! LATER AFTER ABOUT A MONTH, I WENT TO FIRE BASE BIRMINGHAM WHERE I SPENT THE NEXT 10 MONTHS.

CHARLIE HAD OUR NUMBER AT BIRMINGHAM AND WE GOT HIT AT LEAST ONCE A DAY FOR THE DURATION OF MY STAY THERE. I REALLY GOT USED TO IT! I SUPPOSE THERE IS THIS DEFENSE MECHANISM INSIDE THAT KEEPS YOU FROM FREAKING OUT BUT I GOT TO LOVE IT SO. WIERD! I'M A SCREAMING EAGLE FREAK AND I THINK THE SUN RISES AND FALLS ON THOSE WHO WEAR THE PATCH. NO OFFENSE TO ANYONE, JUST MY OPINION. I WON'T BADMOUTH ANY OTHER AIRBORNE OUTFIT ON ACTIVE DUTY NOW OR WHENEVER BUT I COULD NEVER THINK OF MYSELF AFFILIATED WITH ANY OTHER AIRBORNE UNIT.

 

 I REINLISTED AND TOOK A SHORT WHILE IN THE NAM AND WENT ON A 30 DAY LEAVE. IT WAS FUN BUT I NOTICED THAT THINGS WERE VERY DIFFERENT BACK HOME. I WENT BACK AND DID MY 6 EXTRA MONTHS THEN FLEW HOME FOR 30 DAYS IN FEBRUARY 71. AFTER GETTING MY NEW GREEN SUIT, I FLEW OUT OF SEATTLE TO CHICAGO ENROUTE TO INDY. KIDS MY AGE WERE WAITING ON US AT O'HARE AND SPIT ALL OVER US (I SAY US CAUSE THERE WERE LOTS OF GI's ON THE PLANE). I WANTED OUT OF THERE AND PLEADED WITH WHOMEVER I HAD A TICKET WITH TO GET ME ON THE NEXT PLANE. HE DID BUT MY BAGS WERE 4 HOURS LATE AND INDY WAS ALMOST AS BAD AS CHICAGO WAS. I'VE HAD A BAD TASTE FOR CHICAGO EVER SENSE. BUT, I KNEW THE TIMES THEY WERE A CHANGING.

GERMANY

 FROM NAM I WENT TO GERMANY AND WAS I UP FOR A CHANGE OF SCENERY. WOW! I GOT STATIONED WITH A TANKER OUTFIT WITH THE OLD 4TH ARMOR DIVISION WHICH BECAME THE 1ST ARMOR (I THINK). FURTH WAS SOMETHING ELSE. WE WENT INTO NURNBURG A LOT AND ALWAYS HAD A GREAT TIME. AFTER A RIP RORING TIME AT GRAF, WE MOVED THE ENTIRE BATTALION (2/37 ARMOR) TO ERLANGEN. ERLANGEN BECAME ONE OF MY FAVORITE CITIES. I MET A GIRL NAMED MARLIS WHO TOOK MY BREATH AWAY BUT, I WAS YOUNG AND LOVE WAS SCARY AND I WASN'T READY FOR THE LONG TERM THING (NEITHER WAS MARLIS). I GOT OUT AFTER THE TOUR WAS OVER AND SAID SO LONG TO THE ARMOR

AND THE ARMY. I DECIDED TO BECOME A CIVILIAN AGAIN AND SEE IF I COULD GROW MY HAIR OUT LIKE EVERYONE ELSE WAS DOING!

INDIANA

 BACK HOME AGAIN IN INDIANA! OUT! I JUST DIDN'T KNOW A GOOD THING WHEN I HAD IT SO I TOOK MY OLD JOB BACK AT THE IGA STORE AND GREW MY HAIR. IT WAS 1972 DON'T YA KNOW AND I JUST HAD TO SEE WHAT I'D BEEN MISSING. I HAD IDEAS FOR A WHILE OF GOING BACK TO GERMANY AS A CIVILIAN AND HOOKING UP WITH MARLIS BUT I MET THIS GIRL WHO'S DAD HAD RETIRED FROM THE AIRFORCE AND THINGS JUST STARTED TO CHANGE. SHE WAS 17 WHILE I WAS 22 (MAYBE 23) BUT WHAT DOES AGE HAVE TO DO WITH IT. TERI WAS THE GIRL OF MY DREAMS AND AFTER A WHILE SHE DECIDED TO MOVE TO HOLYOKE, MA. WHERE HER DAD WAS LAST STATIONED. SHE WONDERED IF I'D LIKE TO ACCOMPANY HER THERE AND GO BACK TO SCHOOL.

HOW COULD I RESIST?

 WE LIVED TOGETHER ABOUT A YEAR AND DECIDED TO DO THE MARRIAGE VOWS. I WENT TO WORK PART TIME AT TWO DIFFERENT PLACES AND TRIED TO GO TO SCHOOL FULL TIME. TERI WENT TO WORK FULL TIME/PART TIME/AND GO TO SCHOOL PART TIME. NEEDLESS TO SAY WE CRASHED AND BURNED. WE WENT BACK TO INDIANA AND TRIED TO SOCIALIZE WITH THE FAMILY AND FIND SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE BUT WE WERE LOOKING AT THE FUTURE AND IT WASN'T THERE AT THE TIME. SO I HOOKED UP WITH A RECRUITER AND WITH TERI'S BLESSING WENT BACK IN THE ARMY. 

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Hot List

BELOW YOU WILL FIND SOME EXCELLENT SITES, SOURCES OF INFORMATION FOR SOLDIERS, VETERANS OR ANYONE SEEKING INFORMATION ABOUT THE MILITARY OR VETERANS AFFAIRS.

http://thewall-usa.com/ THIS SITE WILL TAKE YOU TO THE WALL ON THE NET. YOU CAN ACCESS INFORMATION ABOUT A LOVED ONE, FRIEND OR JUST SOMEONE YOU HEARD ABOUT. HAVE SOME KLEENEX OR A HANKERCHIEF HANDY.

http://ebird.dtic.mil/ THE EARLY BIRD IS A SYNOPSIS OF NEWS EVENTS WORLDWIDE WITH INTEREST TO THE MILITARY OR ANYONE INTERESTED IN NEWS WITHOUT ALL THE ADVERTISING AND STUFF.

 http://www.va.gov/ THE OFFICIAL HOME PAGE OF THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION. YOU CAN CATCH UP ON YOUR BENEFITS, FIND FORMS AND EVEN FILL THEM OUT. I'M NOT TOO CRAZY ABOUT THE VA BUT IT'S WHAT WE HAVE AND WE GOT TO USE IT TO OUR ADVANTAGE.

http://www.dmdc.osd.mil/sites/ THIS IS A HOMEPAGE OF LISTS OF MILITARY INSTALLATIONS (ALL BRANCHES). EXCELLENT WAY OF FINDING INFO ABOUT YOUR OLD INSTALLATIONS OR IF YOU ARE STILL ON ACTIVE DUTY A NICE WAY TO HELP PLAN AN UPCOMING PCS.

http://www.legion.org/ THIS IS THE OFFICIAL HOMEPAGE OF THE AMERICAN LIGION. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE RETIRED OR JUST OUT TO JOIN. YOU CAN JOIN IF YOU ARE STILL ON ACTIVE DUTY. A REAL GOOD VETERANS ORGANIZATION THAT SPONSORS COMMUNITY RELATED PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES. IF YOU HAVEN'T JOINED AND ARE ELIGIBLE, WHY NOT?

http://www.troa.org/ THIS IS THE HOMEPAGE OF THE RETIRED OFFICER'S ASSOCIATION. I'VE USED TROA AND AM A MEMBER. THEY ARE VERY RESPONSIVE TO OUR NEEDS AND LOBBY THE HECK OUT OF CONGRESS. IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHETHER YOUR CONGRESSMAN OR SENATOR IS SPONSORING LEGISLATION WITH VETERANS IN MIND OR MILITARY UPKEEP, JUST TRY TROA.

http://www.vfw.org/home.shtml THE HOMEPAGE OF THE VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS OR VFW. ANOTHER EXCELLENT VETERANS ORGANIZATION THAT WORKS WITH OTHERS TO LOBBY OUR LEGISLATORS. A GOOD ORGANIZATION TO RUB SHOULDERS WITH OTHER COMBAT VETERANS.

http://www.army.mil/default.htm THE OFFICIAL HOME PAGE OF THE US ARMY. NEED I SAY MORE!

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LIFE AS AN ENLISTED:

 OFF TO FORT DIX FOR A NEW WARDROBE AND A HAIRCUT IN JUNE 75. TOOK ME A WHILE TO GET USED TO WEARING A CAP AGAIN BUT I WAS AN E-5 AGAIN AND HAD TO SHED SOME OF THAT CIVILIAN WAY OF THINKING AND ACTING. I WENT STRAIGHT TO GERMANY AGAIN - THIS TIME TO A COMBAT ENGINEER OUTFIT NORTH OF STUTGART CALLED HEILBRONN. TERI STAYED BACK TIL I FOUND SUITABLE LIVING CONDITIONS AND QUARTERS, AS USUAL, WOULD TAKE A YEAR. I FOUND A PLACE AND A FEW MONTHS LATER WE WERE UNITED AGAIN.

 THE ARMY HAD REALLY CHANGED IN JUST A COUPLE OF YEARS AND THE MODERN VOLUNTEER FORCE WAS TAKING SHAPE. OFFICERS WERE TRYING TO DO NCO JOBS AND IT REALLY WAS A MOB. I DON'T THINK I'VE EVER SEEN WORSE TIMES FOR OUR ARMY. SAY WHATEVER YOU WILL ABOUT VIETNAM, BUT WE WERE SENT THERE TO ACCOMPLISH A MISSION AND BECAME CAUGHT UP IN A POLITICAL NIGHTMARE. THE ARMY WAS A GOOD ARMY IN NAM BUT THE ARMY I CAME BACK TO WAS GOING TO TAKE A WHILE TO RESHAPE.

 MEANWHILE, MARRIAGE SEEMED TO GIVE ME A SENSE OF DIRECTION AND I WAS BUSTING TAIL TO GIVE THE CAREER A BOOST. I HADN'T LOST MY TOUCH BY BEING OUT AND MADE SSG IN JUNE 76. TERI PINNED MY RANK ON UPSIDE DOWN AT THE CEREMONY BECAUSE SHE SAID THE ROCKER ON THE SP5 WAS ONE WAY AND SHE FIGURED THE SSG PINS WERE THE SAME. WE ALL LAUGHED! BY THE WAY, I MISSED THE OLD SHOULDER SLEEVE RANK INSIGNIA. THE PINS SEEMED TO TAKE AWAY FROM THE ESPIRIT DE CORPS, DON'T YOU THINK?

TERI WORKED AT THE NCO CLUB AS THE SECRETARY AND WE WERE DOING WELL. I REALLY INTENDED ON SPENDING JUST A REGULAR ASSIGNMENT WITH THE 237TH ENGINEERS BUT WE LIKED IT WELL ENOUGH AND I EXTENDED. ACTUALLY, I GOT TO BE THE FOOD SERVICE SERGEANT THERE. SO IF ANY OF YOU WERE STATIONED IN HEILBRONN FROM 75-80 I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE FOOD AND ATMOSPHERE IN OUR DINING FACILITY.

 OUR LOVELY DAUGHTER JASMIN WAS BORN IN HEILBRONN ONE COLD JANUARY DAY IN 1979. JASMIN WAS A PRIMIE AND HER BIRTH TOOK ME BY COMPLETE SURPRISE. I HAD BEEN TO ALL THE CLASSES, READ THE BOOKS AND EVEN WATCHED A FILM BUT I WASN'T EXPECTING HER IN JANUARY. I WAS NO HELP TO TERI, IN FACT I THINK TERI WAS MORE HELP TO ME. MY PERFORMANCE IN THE DELIVERY ROOM WOULD MAKE A GREAT SKIT ON A COMEDY SHOW. I ALMOST PASSED OUT DOING THE BREATHING EXERCISES WITH TERI AND COULDN'T TELL IF JASMIN WAS A BOY OR A GIRL BECAUSE OF THE WAY THE CORD WAS PLACED. YOU WOULD HAVE DIED LAUGHING IF YOU WERE THERE. JASMIN IS NOW IN COLLEGE AT ECU, AN EXCELLENT STUDENT, MAJORING IN EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT, DROP DEAD GORGEOUS AND HAS A GREAT BOYFRIEND. SHE'S A GREAT DAUGHTER AND IS THE TYPICAL SOUTHERN LADY.

WE DECIDED WHEN JASMIN WAS ONE YEAR OLD TO TAKE AN ASSIGNMENT BACK TO THE STATES AND IT SO HAPPENED THAT I WAS TO GO TO NCOES AND BE REASSIGNED TO FORT LEE, VA. WE LEFT IN FEB-MAR 80 AND TOOK A LEAVE BEFORE I WAS TO REPORT. WAS HAVING A GREAT TIME UNTIL JASMIN BECAME SO SICK WE HAD TO TAKE HER TO THE HOSPITAL. TURNS OUT SHE HAD THE MEASLES AND IT WAS TOO EARLY FOR HER TO HAVE TAKEN THE SHOTS. FIRST CASE OF MEASLES THEY HAD SEEN IN YEARS. I WAS SCARED TO DEATH BECAUSE THE FEVER WAS SO HIGH. AFTER MANY ICE BATHS AND LOTS OF LOVING CARE SHE GOT BETTER. THANK GOD!

F FINISHED DISTINGUISHED GRADUATE IN NCOES. THANKS TO A LOT OF MENTORS AND A LOVING FAMILY. AFTER GRADUATION I WAS ASSIGNED TO THE QUARTERMASTER BRIGADE AS A FOOD SERVICE SERGEANT FOR GOLF COMPANY. I MANAGED THE FACILITY FOR ABOUT A YEAR AND THEN WE TURNED ALL THE FACILITIES OVER TO A FOOD SERVICE CONTRACTOR. I WENT TO WORK FOR A GUY NAMED CLARK SHEPHARDSON. CLARK WAS A WARRANT OFFICER AND I HADN'T HAD MUCH USE FOR WARRANTS BUT CLARK WAS DIFFERENT. I WAS PROUD TO CALL HIM CHIEF.

THE JOB WITH CLARK DIDN'T LAST LONG HOWEVER SINCE MY JOB WAS TURNED OVER TO CIVILIANIATION. (I BET SPELL CHECK HAS A FIELD DAY WITH THAT ONE). BUT BEING JUST THE GUY HE IS, CLARK FOUND ME A JOB WITH THE DOTD. WHAT THE HECK IS A DOTD YOU SAY! THE DIRECTORATE OF TRAINING AND DOCTRINE DID JOB & TASK ANALYSIS, WROTE DOCTRINE AND WROTE TRAINING MATERIELS FOR THE SCHOOL. I ACTUALLY GOT TO WRITE WHAT TODAY IS CALLED BNOC FOR FOOD SERVICE PERSONNEL. QUITE A CHANGE FROM DINING FACILITIES. I FOUND THAT I LIKED WRITING AND ANALYSIS AND LEARNED A GREAT DEAL ABOUT MY FIELD AND ABOUT MYSELF.

OUR LOVELY DAUGHTER KACEY WAS BORN IN HOPEWELL VA JUST OUTSIDE FORT LEE. SHE IS NOW IN HIGH SCHOOL, A STRAIGHT A STUDENT, A CHEERLEADER, ON THE TRACK TEAM, A LIFEGUARD AND THE BUSIEST LITTLLE GIRL I KNOW. BEFORE I LEFT THE CHIEF'S EMPLOY HE TALKED ME INTO PUTTING IN FOR WARRANT. I ACTUALLY DID ONCE I'D BEEN IN THE DOTD FOR A WHILE. SOON, I WAS CALLED BEFORE A BOARD AND AFTER GETTING OVER THE INITIAL "TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOU" PASSED IT. MEANWHILE, TERI WAS IN A FAMILY WAY AGAIN AND AS I WAS ON THE PHONE WITH THE WARRANT OFFICER BRANCH MANAGER BEING CONGRATULATED FOR BEING SELECTED A WARRANT, TERI CAME RUNNING INTO THE OFFICE YELLING THAT SHE WAS DIALATED TO "10" AN I'D BETTER HURRY. THE BRANCH MANAGER SAID I HAD MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO THAN JAW WITH HIM AND TO GET MY WIFE TO THE HOSPITAL. KACEY DIDN'T ARRIVE AS SOON AS WE THOUGHT SHE WOULD BUT AT 0230 THE NEXT MORNING SHE CAME INTO OUR LIVES. "I LOVE A RAINY NIGHT" WAS PLAYING ON THE RADIO. NOBODY DOES IT LIKE KACEY!

 

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LIFE AS A WARRANT

DON'T CALL ME SIR:

AS SOON AS YOU MAKE YOUR WARRANT THE FIRST THING YOUR SUPPOSED TO DO IS GIVE A SILVER DOLLAR TO THE FIRST SOLDIER THAT SALUTES YOU. THIS WAS A WIERD EXPERIENCE. BORN TO BE A SERGEANT, THIS WAS A BIT OVER MY HEAD, BUT I PULLED IT OFF AND THE PRIVATE WHO HAPPENED TO BE THE FIRST WAS AS HAPPY AS A PIG IN A POKE. I WAS GLAD IT WAS OVER AND FROM NOW ON IT WAS GOING TO BE CHIEF OR MISTER OR WHATEVER BUT NOT SIR. I HATE THE TERM SIR! I JUST COULDN'T MAKE THE TRANSITION AND PROBABLY NEVER DID.

 TWO YEARS PROBATION: AS A WARRANT IN THOSE YEARS YOU HAD TO GO THROUGH TWO YEARS PROBATION. I GUESS THIS WAS TO PROVE YOUR WORTH OR SOMETHING TO THAT AFFECT. BASCICALLY YOU WERE A W01 IN THE RESREVES AND A CW2 IN THE ACTIVE FORCE OR SOMETHIHG LIKE THAT. I GUESS THEY WERE TRYING TO PUT YOU IN SITUATIONS TO TRY YOU AND SEE IF YOU HAD WHAT IT TAKES. A REALLLY SCREWED UP DEAL BUT AT LEAST YOU WERE IN A SITUATION TO FIX THINGS. THATS WHAT I LIKED THE MOST ABOUT BEING A WARRANT, YOU COULD ACTUALLY FIX THE STUFF THAT WAS BROKE.

 WHATS DUAL PROMOTION: BACK IN MY DAY THERE WAS THIS THING CALLED DUAL PROMOTION. DUAL PROMOTION FIXED YOU IN ONE GRADE AT THE RESERVE LEVEL AND ANOTHER GRADE AT THE ACTIVE LEVEL. THE CRAZIEST THING I EVER HEARED OF BUT THE SYSTEM MADE IT WORK. THERE WERE ONLY SO MANY WARRANTS (TECHNICIANS) ALLOWED IN THE ACTIVE FORCE AT ONE TIME AND THIS MUST HAVE BEEN A WAY TO SIDESWIPE THE SYSTEM. REGARDLESS, IT MUST HAVE REALLY KEPT A LOT OF GOOD PEOPLE FROM TRYING TO RISE TO THE TOP. KIND OF LIKE KEEPING COUNTS OF THE VIETNAMESE THE WAY THAT THE BEAN COUNTERS WANTED TO COUNT NUMBERS.

 AFTER A WHILE AT FORT LEE AND YES I WENT FROM ENLISTED THERE TO WARRANT, I BEGAN TO GET VERY CAUGHT UP INTO WHAT I WAS DOING. I THINK THIS IS CALLED THINKING YOU ARE IMPORTANT. I GOT A CALL FROM THE BRANCH MANGAGER ASKING ME (ACTUALLY TELLING ME) THAT THERE WAS A NEED FOR A FOOD SERVICE WARRANT IN KOREA, AND THEY WOULD LIKE ME TO FILL THE POSITION. I WAS PROMISED A SLOT IN THE VERY NEXT WARRANT OFFICER ADVANCED COURSE AND A RETURN ASSIGNMENT TO FORT LEE IF I WOULD ACCEPT THE ASSIGNMENT. OF COURSE I JUMPED AT THE CHANCE. I WANTED TO GET OUT OF THE SCHOOL THING AND DO WHAT I WAS TRAINED TO DO AND A RETURN TRIP TO FORT LEE WOULD BE NICE FOR MY FAMILY. BY THIS TIME TERI WAS GOING TO COLLEGE AND THIS WOULD GIVE HER A CHANCE TO FINISH IT WITHOUT THE HASSEL OF TRANSFERING TO ANOTHER LOCATION AND ANOTHER SCHOOL. I ACCEPTED THE ASSIGNMENT.

  I WAS ASSIGNED TO THE THIRD BRIGADE, 2D ID IN KOREA AFTER THE WARRANT OFFICER ADVANCED COURSE. I MUST SAY THAT IT WAS THE BEST ASSIGNMENT I EVER HAD. IT WAS REALLY FAST PASED CAUSE YOU ONLY HAD A YEAR TO PLAN YOUR GOALS. THE 3D BDE WAS ON THE DMZ SO EVERYTHING WAS MISSION ESSENTIAL. I LOVED IT AND WORKED FOR THE BEST BRIGADE COMMANDER I EVER WORKED FOR. COL LEACH WAS THE KIND OF GUY YOU'D LOVE TO GO TO WAR WITH. NOT THAT YOU LIKED THE IDEA OF WAR BUT IF YOU HAD TO DO IT, THE GUY YOU'D WANT TO BATTLE WITH WAS COL LEACH. THERE ARE THOSE THAT YOU'D LIKE TO SEE COMMAND AND THEN THERE ARE THOSE THAT YOU'D LIKE TO SEE BE THE POLITCIAN, LEACH WAS A BORN COMMAMDER AND I LIKED HIM A LOT.

 SOON IT WAS TIME FOR ME TO LEAVE KOREA. LIKE I SAID, IT IS A FAST PASTE ASSIGNMENT AND IF YOU REALIZE THAT, A REWARDING ONE AS WELL. TERI PICKED ME UP AT THE AIRPORT IN RICHMOND, AND I COULD TELL THAT THINGS WEREN'T WHAT THEY SHOULD BE. SHE HAD SPENT A COUPLE OF WEEKS WITH ME IN KOREA FOR MID TOUR LEAVE, BUT SOMEHOW HER DEMEANOR OR MINE WAS NOT WHAT I WAS USED TO. TERI HAD BEEN WORKING FOR A MAJOR CORPORATION AND HAD MOVED UP THE CORPORATE LADDER. I WAS PROUD OF HER (I'D PROMISED WHEN WE WERE MARRIED TO NEVER STAND IN HER WAY OF SUCCESS) TERI IS ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO REALLY GIVE THERE ALL AND SHE WAS DOING WELL WITH THE COMPANY.

 I ASSUMED THE BASIC DUTIES OF MY OLD JOB AND SOON CAUGHT UP WITH WHAT I LEFT BEHIND WHEN I WAS IN KOREA FOR A YEAR. WE WERE LOOKING FOR A HOUSE TO MOVE TO SO WE COULD GET OUT OF QUARTERS. WE FOUND THE PERFECT OLD BRICK HOME IN PETERSBURG AND THEN I WAS CALLED TO GO TO HONDURAS. I HADN'T BEEN BACK FROM KOREA BUT A FEW MONTHS BUT YOU KNOW THE DEAL. I WENT TO HONDURAS AND TERI CLOSED THE DEAL ON THE HOUSE. HONDURAS WAS A GOOD ASSIGNMENT. I GOT A CHANCE TO WORK WITH A NATIONAL GUARD OUTFIT AND DID MY VERY BEST TO TRAIN THEM. SOON, IT WAS TIME TO GO HOME, BUT HOME WAS NEVER TO BE.

 TERI BROUGHT UP THE IDEA OF A DIVORCE THE FIRST NIGHT BACK FROM HONDURAS. I WAS DEVISTATED (I'D NEVER BEEN ABLE TO SEE THE FOREST FROM THE TREES). BY KEEPING HER AND THE FAMILY STABLE AT FORT LEE, I HAD ISOLATED MYSELF FROM HER AND THE FAMILY I LOVED SO VERY MUCH. OUR MARRIAGE OF 17 YEARS WAS OVER.

 I'M WHAT IF I ACCEPT THIS PROMOTION? I HAD TO BECOME RA WHEN I MADE CW3. THERE ARE SOME GOOD AND BAD TO BECOMING RA. OF COURSE I ACCEPTED THE PROMOTION BUT WILL LOSE PAY IF I EVER GO BACK TO WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT. WITH RA YOU CAN DO OVER 20 YEARS BUT IF YOU DON'T ACCEPT RA YOU CAN'T DO OVER 20 YEARS. SINCE I WAS NOW IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING SOMEWHAT SINGLE AGAIN I DECIDED TO GO FOR BROKE AND ACCEPT THE RA APPOINTMENT.

 I GOT A CHANCE TO WORK ON A LOT OF SPECIAL PROJECTS AT FORT LEE, PROJECTS I'D SEE COME TO FRUITION IN YEARS TO COME. SOME WERE POSITIVE AND WOULD IMPROVE HOW SUPPORT IS PROVIDED WHILE OTHERS WERE NEGATIVE (IN MY OPINION) AND WERE STEPS BACKWARD. CONSOLIDATING 4 QM OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTIES (MOS) WERE IN MY OPINION, "A LEAP BACKWARD". BUT SOMETIMES YOU MUST SALUTE AND DO THINGS THE BIG BOSS WANTS DONE. I HAD TO SAY THIS IN CASE SOME OF MY CRONIES, WHO STILL BLAME ME FOR THIS STUPID CHANGE, READS MY HOME PAGE! DON'T FORGET WE WERE/ARE SOLDIERS FIRST!

 ABOUT THE TIME I WAS FINISHING THE MOS CONSOLIDATION THING I WAS ASSIGNED TO THE 6TH INFANTRY DIVISION (LIGHT) AT FORT WAINWRIGHT, AK.

THIS WAS A SERIES OF UNITS INCLUDING HHC, 6TH ID (L). I WAS THE DIVISION FOOD ADVISOR AND WORKED ALONG SIDE SGM WASHINGTON, THE INSTALLATION FOOD SERVICE SGM. THE DIVISION AND THE INSTALLATION HAD PUT THEIR HEADS TOGETHER AND ACTUALLY DID SOMETHING RIGHT. ALASKA IS A BIG PLACE WITH 3 INSTALLATIONS SPREAD OUT OVER A VAST AREA. THE INSTALLATION WAS HOUSED AT FORT RICHARDSON WHILE THE DIVISION HQ WAS A WAINWRIGHT. THE INSTALLATION FOOD ADVISOR (GARY ROYSNICK AT FIRST THEN TJ LANG) WERE AT FORT RICHARDSON WITH THE DIVISION FOOD SERVICE SGM. I WAS WITH THE INSTALLATION FOOD SERVICE SGM (SGM WASHINGTON) AND WITH THIS SET UP ACTIONS COULD BE COMPLETED ASAP. THERE WERE VERY FEW OCCASIONS WHEN IT TOOK LONG WASTED DAYS OF COORDINATION TO COMPLETE AN ACTION.

 THERE WERE NO GREAT EGO'S WITH THE AFOREMENTIONED GROUP AND TOGETHER WE HELPED THE DIVISION WIN THE PHILIP A. CONNELLY AWARD (SMALL CATEGORY). OF COURSE THE FOOD SERVICE SERGEANT, THEN SFC JANET WASHINGTON HAD A LOT TO DO WITH WINNING IT ALSO.

IF YOU'D LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE PHILIP A CONNELLY AWARD, VISIT THE FOLLOWING HOME PAGE:

ALASKA WAS THE BEST ASSIGNMENT I HAD. I LOVED THE OUTDOORS AND GOT USED TO THE WINTERS. THEY ISSUE A LOT OF GREAT PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND TEACH YOU HOW TO USE IT. I'D NEVER SEEN A UNIT AND THE SUB PARTS OF THE UNIT WORK AS A TEAM THE WAY FOLKS IN ALASKA DID. I REALLY BELEIVE IN THE TEAM CONCEPT AND THE SIGHTSEEING 6TH DID IT BETTER THAN ANY UNIT I'D EVER BELONGED TO.

I GOT A CHANCE TO FEED THEN BRIEF SEVERAL RUSSIAN GENERALS ON THE ARMY FOOD PROGRAM, WITH EMPHASIS ON OUR PROGRAM IN ALASKA (GEARED TO EXREME COLD WEATHER FEEDING). AS I STOOD BRIEFING THEM, I THOUGHT OF ALL THE YEARS OF THE COLD WAR. I THOUGHT OF GEORGE PATTON RELUCTANTLY TOASTING HIS COUNTERPART IN THE MOVIE. I HAD TEARS IN MY EYES!

 

 AFTER THE CEREMONY TO ENCASE THE COLORS AND SHUT DOWN THE DIVISION, I WENT TO FORT CARSON, JUST OUTSIDE COLORADO SPRINGS. I FLEW MY KID BROTHER, JEFF, TO FAIRBANKS IN AUGUST AND TOGETHER WE DROVE THE ALASKAN HIGHWAY, DOWN THROUGH CANADA, STOPPED BRIEFLY AT CARSON THEN ON A SLOW RIDE HOME FOR A BRIEF STAY. FOR ANY OF YOU GOING TO ALASKA, I'D RECOMMEND DRIVING UNLESS IT'S DURING THE WINTER. THE TRIP WAS BEAUTIFUL AND IF YOU LIKE TO ROUGH IT AND CAMP WITH A TENT, CANADA PROVIDES SOME OF THE BEST RESOURCES.

 

FORT CARSON WAS THEN THE HOME OF THE 4TH INFANTRY DIVISION (MECH). DURING MY TOUR, ONCE MORE A DIVISION WENT AWAY BUT THANK GOODNESS THIS ONE JUST WENT SOUTH TO FORT HOOD. I DON'T KNOW WHY BUT THE FOOD PROGRAM THERE WAS NOT IN VERY GOOD SHAPE.

THE BRAC COMMISSION HAD LOOKED AT FORT CARSON FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND I GUESS THERE WAS CONCERN ABOUT INVESTING IN AN INSTALLATION THAT MIGHT GO AWAY. A SHAME! CAUSE SOLDIERS NEED THE BEST WE CAN GIVE THEM. MY GOAL WAS TO SIMPLY GET THE FOOD PROGRAM INTO THE 20TH CENTURY. ABOUT MY 8TH DAY THERE, WHILE I WAS LOOKING THROUGH OLD RECORDS TO GET SOME SINCE OF DIRECTION ABOUT THE PROGRAM, A SGM WALKED IN AND SAID, "HI, I'M YOUR NEW INSTALLATION FOOD SERVICE SGM". SGM REEDMAN, A BIG CANADIAN, WAS AS DIFFERENT FROM ME AS NIGHT IS FROM DAY. BUT, TOGETHER WE MORE THAN ACHEIVED THE SIMPLE GOAL OF GETTING THE FOOD PROGRAM INTO THE 20TH CENTURY. ALONG WITH A NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN (AND I SAY THAT WITH REVERENCE) NAMED DENNIS EVERLING WHO WAS OUR RIGHT HAND, AND SOLDIER-FOOD SERVICE PERSONNEL FROM THE 3D ACR, I WAS BLESSED WITH HELPING ANOTHER DINING FACILITY WIN ANOTHER PHILIP A. CONNELLY AWARD (THIS TIME A LARGE CATEGORY).

 BUT, ACTUALLY BETTER THAN THE AWARDS, WAS THE SATISFACTION THAT SOLDIERS THROUGHOUT THE INSTALLATION WERE RECEIVING THE TYPE OF FOOD SERVICE SUPPORT THEIR MOMs AND DADs EXPECTED US TO GIVE THEM. "DO UNTO OTHERS AND THEY WILL DO UNTO YOU". THE FOOD PROGRAM AT FORT CARSON, NOT JUST THE AWARD WINNING ONES BUT ALL OF THEM WERE AMONG THE BEST ANYWHERE. THANKS TO A LOT OF GREAT PEOPLE, I GOT A BRIEF MOMENT OF SUCCESS! THANKS GUYS!

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RETIREMENT

 

 

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PERSONAL INTERESTS

I'M CURRENTLY A COLLEGE STUDENT AT INDIANA STATE UNIVERSITY PURSUING A BACHELORS DEGREE IN FOOD MANAGEMENT. I DIDN'T GET A CHANCE TO FINISH IT WHILE IN THE ARMY, TOO DARNED BUSY!

DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS IN STORE FOR THE OLD SOLDIER, BUT I'VE TRIED ALWAYS TO THINK YOUNG. I'M INTO BETTER WAYS OF DOING THINGS. ONE OF THE THINGS WE ALL MUST DO IS PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT. WE MUST DO THAT ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS. WE ALL CAN CONTRIBUTE. I'M NOT INTO THE BIG ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS WHO'D SELL THE COUNTRY DOWN THE RIVER TO THE UN, BUT I AM FOR SAVING OUR NATURAL RESCOUCES. SO: RE-USE-REDUCE-RECYCLE!

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Last Revised: 10 OCT 98

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