Tuesday, May 21, 2013

June 1971

I took a book from my shelf today and this picture fell out on the floor. I thought at first it was some kind of receipt until I picked it up and flipped it over.
On the right margin it says June 71, but I knew the instant I picked it up when and where it
June 1971
was taken.

I was drafted by Uncle Sam in April of that year. One moment I was studying psychology, history, and badminton, at Jeff State Community College, and it seems like the next moment, I was standing in a warehouse full of guys my age getting our heads shaved.
The next day we were on a bus headed for Fort Campbell Kentucky. It was April 3, and the weather was nice. 
I weighed about 150 pounds when I stepped off the bus at basic training. One of the drill sergeants in the welcoming committee called me chubby. 
By the time June rolled around, we were running all over the state of Kentucky, and it was hotter than Satan wearing long-handles. 
By the end of basic training toward the end of June, I weighed 135 pounds, and I was in the best shape I'd ever been in.
A lot of people complained about the Army, but I didn't find it that bad....well, other than running for hours on pavement hot enough to panfry flapjacks. 
Growing up in the rural south, I already did a lot of the things we did in basic, so I found it hard to whine.
I think that many of the good things that's happened to me in my life were the result of the Army. I consider it an honor to have served. 
I was fortunate in that my tour took me to Central America. As it turned out, it was not a bad duty station. But many of those who served, had it much harder, and some gave their lives. 
This coming weekend it Memorial Weekend. I pulled out my American Flag and I plan to let it dance in the breeze. I hope you'll join me in taking a moment to thank those who gave it all.

15 comments:

  1. Our flag will also be flying. I will be remembering the friends and relatives who gave their lives to serve under that flag.

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  2. Thanks for your service !! Our flag will be flying.

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  3. Those were definitely some tough times to have to serve. Nice pic :)

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  4. Indeed. Our flag will be flying high. My hubby got his "greetings" from Uncle Sam in December of '68.

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  5. You have so many memories being in the army.
    Thats quite an experience and I am glad it all turned out well for you.
    I had a friend who was married to a guy who came back from Nam and he had flashbacks and nightmares and slept with a knife and gun.
    A few times he almost killed her and so she decided to leave him.
    Such sad stories.We sure have to thank our soldiers for fighting for our freedom and for our rights.

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  6. Next Sunday I'll be placing flags and poppies on my father's grave; he was a proud WWII veteran. I'll also be calling my brother, an equally proud and exceedingly fortunate, Vietnam era vet.

    Thank you for serving.

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  7. That young man really you!??! I'm such a broken record but every time you share a pic of Young Man Rick, I am always scraping my jaw off the floor...!! LOL!!

    Wishing you all a lovely Memorial weekend. Take care
    x

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    Replies
    1. You are too funny Kitty.

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  8. I hold such high regard for people that serve... My David is in the Army too ;)

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  9. Looking back I really wish I had served...I still think of joining the reserves sometimes!!

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  10. My dad died on Memorial Day. I know it falls on a different date each year, but I always think of Memorial Day as his day. He would have been proud to die on that day. He was a pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II.

    Love,
    Janie

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  11. Thank you for serving!!

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  12. Enjoy your memory lane travels a lot!

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  13. Thank you for serving our country Rick. I plan to do a lot of flag waving and thanking all the wonderful folks who sacrifice to keep us safe. Nice pic of you!

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  14. Thanks all for your kind words.

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