Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Army 1952

Darlene and I had just got married in September, then three week later I got my greetings from Uncle Sam.   It said to report to Kansas City induction center on 11-21-1952.    That was just one week from Thanksgiving.   So on the 21st I boarded a bus in my home town with other men heading to K C.  When we arrived at the induction center they had us strip our clothing for a shower and 'delousing'  and gave us some army issue clothing.  There were three young men from another state that had long johns on but only the bottoms, the tops had worn out and they had taped the bottoms on to their body.   They didn't want to take them off but they had to.  It was very painful because they had had them on for a long time.   That evening we boarded a train (my first train ride)  headed to Camp Crowder, Missouri (where the sun comes up in the south and sets in the north??).   The first thing they did was line us up and told us if we had a pocket knife to put it in a bucket up front.   One of the guys standing by me said his brother said not to do it because you won't get it back. The ones that did never saw their knife again.   The next thing was showing us how to make our bunk bed.   They told us  it had to be taut enough that if a quarter was dropped on it it had to bounce or we would be in trouble in the inspection in the morning.  They had us stand guard for two hours shifts with a ping pong paddle.  In the day time we would march and they were aways smarting off.  They would have us march into a wall or ditch just to aggravate us.   But the worst thing was Thanksgiving day they fed us turkey.   About 2:00 A.M. men started to go to the latrine and by morning there was no room left.   We all got ptomaine poisoning.   The sinks were full and every place was occupied.   The latrine was a disgusting mess.  I think we were there about ten days, then to Fort Smith, Arkansas where we got off the buses in the middle of the night and had a short arm inspection.    Got back on the bus  and headed to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Battery B for basic training.

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