This newsletter is intended only for the use of the ASA TURKEY Veteran's. Comments or submissions to
the DAYS OF OUR LIVES are most welcome. I will respond to all e-mails and will assist whenever
needed, but reserve the right to edit for content and clarity and welcome any errors that may appear
herein. Please include ASA in the subject line. Whether you choose to share your BIO is a personal
choice. However, information not shared is the same as information lost. I'm always shocked by the
ferocity with which memories previously buried alive unexpectedly are revisited. Keep in mind that the
Internet is a universe unto itself and is a dang near veritable hell-hole filled with scams, scam artists,
frauds, thieves, and greedy people, etc. In the old days, back when mail crossed the country in days,
identity theft still took place. Today, e-mail crosses the country at the speed of light. The crooks do too.
Your privacy is extremely important. Therefore, if you wish not to receive future DAYS OF OUR LIVES,
please send that request to asagreenhornet@yahoo .com. Thank you

GREEN, Elder RC (gH), YOB: 1936, RA13513638, E7, 982/98C, Det 27, 1-15MY61, Det 120, MY-JL65,
Det 27, JN66-OC67 & Det 4-4, OC67-NO68, (Patty), 3094 Warren Rd., Indiana, PA 15701, 724-349-


This is my fifth DOOL Christmas message and it remains the same today - so here it is again:
As 2005 draws to a close, may I wish you all a Happy Christmas, whatever your religions or beliefs. Thank you for
being my friend and keep sending me your BIO's and other newsworthy items. Patty and I wish you all a
Merry Christmas and have a prosperous and happy 2006. The below photo was taken at the Garden of
the Gods recreation area in Colorado Springs, CO. That’s our two grandsons and Pikes Peak in the
back-ground. Patty and I celebrated our 46th Anniversary on 28 November. WOW!.
Merry Christmas all…. And here's to a prosperous, safe, healthy, wiser 2006!

Everyone knows Johnny Cash the great country and western singing legend. But what a lot of ex-ASA’ers
do not know, is Johnny Cash was a military veteran before he was a country singing star. Before he was
the "Man in Black," Airman Cash was the Man in Blue -- Air Force Blue. He was born in 1932 in
Kingsland, Arkansas and grew up on the family farm. He finished high school in 1950 just in time for the
Korean War. While most young men waited to be drafted into the Army for two years of service, Johnny
Cash joined the Air Force for four years. He was trained in Texas as a ditty-bopper and then shipped out
to Landsberg, Bavaria, Germany where he sat as a Morse code intercept operator with the USAF
Security Service listening and copying morse code signals generated from the other side of the "Iron
Curtain." There is a positive correlation in the abilities of people who work with signal codes and music.

TUSLOG Det 4-1 News
TUSLOG Det 4-1 was located in Ankara and was officially known as the AVIATION & LIAISON SECTION
for Newly Arrived Personnel assigned to TUSLOG Det 4. The date of its activation is not knownIn April
1963 the OIC was Captain William A. Graham, Jr., TC. The date of its activation is not known This info
was obtained from the files of Jack O’brien.who loaned the file to me at the San Antonio 2005 reunion
and from which I’ve extracted the picture of his DLI Russian language class who were all sent to Det 4
and included herein. Also Jack was a member of the Det 4 1965 Track & Field Team that participated in
the MSC Track & Field Championships held at 19 Mayis Stadium in Ankara 24-25 May 1965. The results
of that meet are not known at this time.. The Det 4-1 SOP states that all ASA personnel will be met by a
rep of TUSLOG Det 4-1 upon disembarking from the USAF airport bus at TUSLOG Det 30 in Ankara. If
not contacted by a Det 4-1 rep, check in with the Det 30 CQ. If the Det 30 CQ is unable to contact Det 4-1
personnel, call Site 23 (Det 27) and ask for the Staff Duty NCO. It mentions that American dollars will be
used at all US Military Installations in Turkey and that Turkish lira will be used off post and the exchange
rate was 9 Turkish lira to 1 American dollar.

I took the above photo at the 2005 ASA Turkey reunion in San Antonio, TX. The brand-new looking
jacket belongs to Jeff Wadley who was a member of the Det 27 Flag Football MSC championsip team in
1962. Jeff is very proud of this jacket and the time he spent at Det 27 as a 058 on Trick#4.

All ASA Turkey vet’s still remember the BEYANNAME word because it was continuiously referred to by
those in charge that abuse of either - could result in serious penalties. The STATUS OF FORCES
Agreement made certain that scarce items brought into Turkey either hand carried or in hold baggage be
declared on a “Beyanname File”. Also beyanname items bought in the PX were controlled by a 3 part
sales slip with one forwarded to the Provost Marshall Office (PMO) for record keeping. A customs tag
was attached to all packages received thru the APO and a beyanname form had to be filled out and sent
to the PMO. Beyanname items sold to Turk Nationals had to be cleared thru the Customs Liaison
Agency with proper permission obtained from Turkish authorities and that all import or customs taxes are
paid before selling to the buyer. Also beyanname items bought or sold between GI’s must be reported to
the PMO The out-processing SOP was to not buy, sell or transfer beyanname items 5 weeks prior to
departure and report to the PMO and complete the beyanname paperwork which is necessary to clear
Turkish Customs and receive a Beyanname Exit authorization.


BLUNK, Robert A. (Bobby), 058, E7, Det 27, 58-61, WO, Det 4, 66, DOB: 30 September 1931 DOD 2 June 1998
in Dover, TN SSN: 479-32-0212 iss IA. Pete Gritis informed me that he was the first Ops Officer at Det 27 and that
Master Sergeant Bobby Blunk was the first Ops Sgt there. I called Blunk’ youngest son, Bobby, and was able to
glean additional information which will be included in DOOL#158.

DRESSER, Larry E. 058, E3-E5,Tk#1, Det 27, 61-63, DOB: 5 Marxh 1940 DOD: 2 July 1989 at Willmar,
MN. Ron Hillmer informs that Larry Dresser died of a brain tumor. Larry was the Manager of a Sherwin-
Williams Paint Stote in Willmar, MN

GREEN, James A., (jJim), DOB: 20DE21, DOD: 10OC05, MAJ, SigC, CO, Det 4, JN56-JN57, (Christine),
229 Bayou Woods Dr., Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548, 850-862-4063, - Dear friends, I
apologize for the generic nature of the e-mail, but I am a bit overwhelmed at this time and will write
personal letters later. My dear father, Jim Green, quietly passed away on 10 October 2005 . He fell last
Wednesday and broke his hip pretty badly. While he came through the surgery well, he later developed
pneumonia and due to his weakened state, was unable to fight it off. He was comfortable and peaceful to
the end, though, and simply rested until he could do no more. A service was held at St. Simon's-on-the-
Sound Episcopal Church in Fort Walton Beach, FL where he was a member for over 40 years. For the
moment, you can contact me here at my father's e-mail address. If you do, PLEASE put my name in
CAPS in the subject line. My father receives tons of e-mail on a regular basis and I may miss your
message otherwise. PLEASE ask others who may write me to do so at this address and also put my
name in the subject line. I can also be reached at (850) 585-8175. As I said, I am a bit overwhelmed right
now with so much to do and will write personal notes later. As for now, just please keep us in your
prayers. Thanks so much and God bless! Kathy Fulcher


THE 2006 reunion will be held 13-17 September in Fort Mitchell, KY and will be hosted by Hal and Bobbie
Winkler. The host hotel is the Drawbridge Inn ( and the room rates are $75 per
day plus 11.24% tax. The Drawbridge is conveniently located on I-75/I-71, just 5 miles south of downtown
Cincinnati and 8 miles NE of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, a Delta Hub.
The Drawbridge will provide transportation to/from the airport at no charge Also local transportation
(TANK) from the Drawbridge to Covington Landing and to downtown Cincinnati is available hourly at a
nominal .50 per person. A large hospitality room will be provided and we will be allowed to bring food and
beverages therein. Tentative plans include a day trip to the USAF Museum in Dayton, OH which is the
largest and oldest military aviation museum in the world (; a meal at the
Hofbrauhaus Restaurant and Bier Hall in Newport, KY; ( a unforgettable
three hour dinner cruise on the Ohio River ( and a visit to the mall at
Newport on the Levee ( Please note that Cincinnati will host a
Octoberfest on 16 and 17 September in downtown Cincinnati. To make reservations for the reunion call
1-800-354-9793 and inform that you will be attending the ASA Turkey reunion.

The above photo was taken at the Defense Language Institute at Presidio of Monterey, CA in March
1964. All were awarded MOS of 965.1663 and upon graduation all were promoted to SP4 E4 and were
sent to Det 4 in Sinop. They later were awarded PMOS 988.1663.
Row 1: L-R: Jay N. Brown; Vincent E. Heiker*; Dean E Garrison* & Richard K. Martindale.* Row 2: Neil
Duprey; Robert L. Steele; Donald B. Larson; Charles J. Malsch* & Thomas M. Hathaway*. Back Row:
William G. Crofwell; Gary L. Davis; Joseph R. Gower; John S. Obrien*; Steve P. Lester* & Francis M.
Forbes, III. The SSG in 1st row is unknown * indicates located.

BAZZETT, Tim, Det 4, 63-64
CHUDY, Jim, Det 27, 61-62
COWIE, Bill, Det 27,
COX, Jim, Det 4, 66-67
DesRUISSEAUX, Roy, Det 27, 61-62
ELLENBERGER, Larry, Det 27, 61-63
ELLIS, Charles, Det 27, 63-65
FAGIOLI, Richard, Det 27, 65-66
FORBUS, Jim, Det 4, 58-59
FRAERING, Camille, 57-58
FRICKEY, Norm, Maj, CO, Det 4-4, 70-72
FULTON, Don, Det 4, 67
GARRISON, Dean, Det 4, 64-65
GODWIN, Doyle, Det 4, 64-65
GRITIS, Pete, Det 27, 59-62
HATHAWAY, Tom, Det 4, 64-65
HEIKER, Vince, Det 4, 64-65
HILLMER, Ron, Det 27, 61-62
HOOPER, Carroll, Det 4, 64-65
LESTER, Steve, Det 4, 64-65
MACKINNON, Don, Det 4, 72-73
MALSCH, Charles, Det 4, 64-65
MIX, Lowell, Det 4, 62-63
O’BRIEN, Jack, Det 4, 64-65
ORR, Charlie, Det 27, 60-62
PARSONS, Fred, Det 4, 58-59
ROBERT, T.J. Det 4-4
ROOKS, Dixie, Det 27, 62-64
RUDELL, Dick, Det 27, MY60-62
WAITE, Daryl, Det 66
WHITE, Paul, Det 27, 60-62

BAZZETT, Tim, YOB 1944, E3, 058, Det 4, AU63-AU64, (Terri), 330 W. Todd Ave., Reed City, MI 49677, 231-
832-2692, - Hey Guys,- I was just reading a Roger Ebert review of the new film
about the first Gulf war, JARHEAD, based on Marine sniper Anthony Swofford's memoir of his time in the
Gulf. Here are some excerpts from the review: (first, in reply to a journalist's query about why he serves)
"I'm 20 years old, and I was dumb enough to sign a contract." and later about killing time: "The narration
includes one passage that sounds lifted straight from the book, in which Swofford lists the ways they get
through the days: They train, they sleep, they watch TV and videos, they get in pointless fights, they read
letters from home and write letters to home, and mostly they masturbate. ... It is not often that a movie
catches exactly what it was like to be this person in this place at this time, but "Jarhead" does. They say a
story can be defined by how its characters change. For the rest of his life, Swofford tells us, whether he
holds it or not, his rifle will always be a part of his body. It wasn't like that when the story began. ..." So, I
know it's not the same thing exactly, but a lot of you guys' feedback to me about SoldierBoy when so
many of you told me how well I "nailed it", the way it was ... well, thanks. "This is my rifle, This is my gun
... etc." And I still check my gig line when I dress up. And no matter how much we may try to make light of
our service, we all know how proud we are to have served. I shoulda probably included some more of my
readers on this e-mail, but I don't have a full list yet. Feel free to circulate it. I'm gonna have to read
Swofford's book now, for sure. And maybe see the movie too. I'm still fielding offers on the movie deal for
SoldierBoy. All offers will be considered. Ha-ha! I was a guest for Veterans Day on a radio morning talk
show in Traverse City today and I felt honored and lucky. (Also present was Doug Stanton, another
ReedCityBoy and author of NYTimes bestseller, In Harm's Way.) I will do a book signing there tomorrow
night at Horizon Books. Thanks to all of you guys for reading my book and for your feedback and
encouragement. Happy Veterans Day 2005,

CHUDY, Jim, YOB: 1938, RA17549642, 058, E3-E5, Det 27, JA61-MY62, (Nan), State Highway 27,
Hayward, WI 54843, 715-634-0182, – Name given to me by Ron Hillmer. Called Chudy and
had interesting chat with him regarding his tour of duty at Manzarali Station. Remembers that LTC Dimpster
Epperson was the post commander. Other names that he remembers: Bochicchio, Greg Bankos, Allen Cox, Lt
Ralph Stevens, Ed Kuntz (teased about his last name), Doyle, Lief, Felker, Dave Hartson, Judge, Hudson, Dorow,
Pavlik, Charlie Larson, Charlie Parker, Dejno, Otero, Bob Hancock, Hoffman, Barry Fredrickson, Charlie Holt, Don
Charlton, Joe DeCaprio, Sgt Missey, Charlie Eberman, Wooden, Ed Omalley, Don K. Briningstool, Salak, Cathurst,
Wise, Nick Hostettler, Paul Poetto, Dan Nass, Jon Hansman, Walt Dubicki, Ron Hillmer, Art Lanskov, Al Lara,
Charlie Orr, plus others that he will look for in his files. Will send foto’s and BIO.

COWIE, Bill Det 27, - Hey Elder, Did I miss the newsletter for Oct/Nov ?? I'm just
concerned I missed it. Hope all is fine, Bill [Bill, Thanks for the DOOL inquiry..... You haven't missed a dit
or a dah, but I have! My hard drive took a wrong turn and I lost a heck of a lot of data that I use to
compile the DOOL. I had 156 all done and ready for issue when the hard drive went south. I had all the
individual & group pix's therein and whammmm they were gone and it took the wind out of my sails. I lost
the MASTER ROSTERS and now am painstakingly trying to recover some of that data. And to top that off
hunting season here in PA is in full swing and I leave Sunday for camp and won't be working on the
DOOL's until sometime in December. Patty and I just returned from a pleasant 3 days in the Laurel
Highlands of Western PA where we stayed at the 7 Springs resort in Champion, PA.

COX, James R. (Jim) YOB 1943 RA14820047 E4-E5 95B MP Det 4, MR66-FE67, (Vicki), POB 2424
Gadsden, AL 35903, Mailing address: PO Box 2424, Gadsden, AL 35903, 256-492-4749, - Please note that I have changed my email from to My wife and I recently visited her realtives in Massillon, OH. We had a great
time and saw Massillon in the simi-final state 1A football playoff. There were over 15, 000 fans. They won,
however, lost in the championship game. They are as crazy about football as we are in Alabama. I, during
this time, visited Dean Lapp in Midina. We were fellow MPs in Sinop. He and his wife made my visit very
pleasant. Thanks for creating this site. You have made it possible for many old soldiers to recontact fellow

DesRUISSEAUX, Roy YOB: 1941 E3 MP Hq Co Det 27, JN61-AU62, (Josie),176 Springton Road Upper
Darby, PA 19802, 610-622-3343, - Elder: Just a note to let you know the surgery
went fine. Went in Nov. 1 had surgery and got home the 7th. Blood sugar runs a bit high because I only
have 1/2 of a pancreas. I go to the family Doc on Monday where he'll probably put me on a medication to
see if we can bring it under control,if not we'll do insulin. Then next Friday the stitches (staples ) come
out. Just glad no problems arose from the surgery now we just have to rest up and recuperate I plan to
get back to work in late Jan.

ELLENBERGER, Lawrence (Larry), YOB: 1938 RA, E3-E5, 059, Det 27, 28DE61-30AU63, (never
married), 3805 Yankee Ridge Rd., Kingston, MO, 64650, 660-354-2237, - While
looking for an old ASA buddy, I stumbled across your DOOL#153 page and went back in time 44 years.
Bio as follows. Enlisted 30 November 1960, took BCT at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. till 22 February 1961.
Fort Devens - ASA training school 22 February 1961 till12 December 1961. Graduated 059 Sep 61 but
was frozen in place at that time because of the Berlin blockade which some of the Turkey ASA'ers are
painfully aware of, as their tours were extended till replacements arrived. Not a lot of happy campers.
While being held over at Devens, was an assistant instructor in the field, setting up electronic vans etc.
27 December 1961, flew out of Ft.Dix to Frankfurt Germany, for a 48 hr layover. Arrived Ankara Turkey
and on to Manzarali Station 28 December 1961 in the worst fog I think I ever have seen. Didn't see the
sun or anything more than 20 feet away for six weeks. Assigned trick#4 059 Opns, made room
supervisor when the mass exodus started about 120 days later. Remenber a lot of the names and people
that were there when I arrived, Lake Golbasi, The tree incident, Capt Sprehe getting cut back in rank to
E7 and leaving Turkey. I remember the Trick 4 Watch Officer, Lt Tavernetti being able to stand flat footed
in the watch office and kick the top of the door without his other foot moving. The Fock Rock must be a
later thing as I don't remember it. Made Sgt. E5 March 1962 and was discharged Fort Hamilton NY 30
Augiust 1963. Capt Gerald G. Gibbs was Co. Commander after Capt. Sprehe and was promoted to Major
while there. Never heard anything about him after that. Does anyone know anything about him after that?
This has probably gotten long enough, so will quit for now. Sergeant John Hagamon said you had a CD
available with all of the ASA Turkey goings on , on it. I never married. Was a over the road truck driver
for 27 years and live on 11 acres of my former 120 acre farm. I’ve kept in contact with John Kaufman
who was from Pennsylvania but moved to Baton Rouge, LA.

ELLIS, Chas W E4 Medic Det 27 AU63-FE65, 74 Cleveland Ave., Elmira, NY 14905, 607-737-7405, - Please note my new e-mail address.

FAGIOLI, Richard E6 98GTurkish Det 27, 65-DE66, (Sherry), 8 Chiming Road., New Castle, DE 19720,
302-322-1604, -Elder, Please change my email from RFAGIOLI@ATT.NET to
RFAGIOLI@VERIZON.NET - Thank you for all your hard work, Tesekkur ederim

FORBUS, Jim YOB 1938 E4 Supply Det 4, MR58-MY59, (Sara), 665 Bynum Acres Dr., Anniston, AL
36201, 256-237-3345, – Ernie Carrick informs that Jim Forbus is in the University of
Alabama Hospital (UAB) in Birmingham. recovering from Open Heart surgery. Dr's performed
catherization procedure and found that he had blockage and leaking values. The doctors performed 3 bypasses,
1 value replacement and 1 value repair. Ernie & Betty Carrick, Rita Hammett (widow of Stu
Hammett, Det 4, ) and her daughter Dianna Chapel visited Jim in the hospital.

FRAERING, Camille Jr E4 982 SE57-SE58, 2408 Blue Haven Dr, New Iberia, LA 70563-2133, 337-365-
5418,, and - Al I
am involved in some projects and as soon as we are finished I will cut out a day and write some more on
my experience. One depressing thing is everyone is dying around me so I need to get off my butt. I will be
70 in January. I got to Det 4 in September 1957 and had a lot of free time. I used to walk into town at
least twice or so each week. I walked straight down the hill right by a farm, and sometimes I would walk
straight up the hill. There was no fence so you could even run down the hill if you were careful. That is
how I found the tunnel. Hidden in plain sight. Once you passed it by 30 feet you could not see it. I have
often wondered where it went and what it was. I know it was not a watercourse! I climbed the highest
tower on the wall on the south of town. Believe me it was a task and very interesting. Also dangerous. I
think I took some one up one time. They did not wasnt to do it again. I was told the Greek stones of the
wall were the triangular and the rectangular were Roman additions. Also when we got there the Hospital
that had been shelled by the Russians was still there as a shelled relic as a reminder of the atrocity they
had committed. Anyhow I will get back to you later. Got to get to work as tomorrow we have a terribly full
day. I really appreciate what you are doing. It is a fantastic service. Thank you. Camille M. Fraering Jr.,
Sinop 57-58 (before the Regular Army got there)

FRICKEY, Norm, Maj, CO, Det 4-4, 70-72, (Sharon), PO Box 921, Ft Morgan, CO 80701, 970-867-5364,
cell 970-380-3320, - Please note that we have moved and have a new Email:

FULTON, Donald G. E4, 05H2HS3YA, Det 4, JA67-DE67, (Linda), 426 Mesa Loop, San Antonio, TX
78258, 210-481-9565, - [edited] This is my current DOOL roster entry.
Retired from the Navy Reserve as Radioman 1st Class, served with ASA from 1966-1974 then off to
regular army since they didn’t think my wife was worthy of our countries secrets, and they wouldn’t give
me a wavier. J Served with the Army Reserves ‘til ’87 then transferred to the US Navy Reserve, served
on the USS Lang FF-1060 for three years, then the USS George Philip FFG-12 for another 10 months
before transferring to the Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 105 (MIUWU-105), where I stayed until
retirement in 1990. Uncle Sam (George Bush Sr.) called me out of retirement and sent me packing for
Saudi Arabia for Gulf War 1, and then I came back and retired again. J Trying to lay low now so they don’t
find me again. Active HAM radio type, call sign W5DGF and mainly hang around on the CW portion of the
amateur bands. Hope this brings you up to date.

GARRISON, Dean E., RA16753709, E4-E5, 988RU, Det 4, 64-65, 2124 Madison Pl., Evanston, IL 60202,
847-491-0727, - Hello, Al. I returned from Thanksgiving weekend in Michigan to
find your telephone call. And then your e-mail with the Charlie Malsch picture turned up on my computer.
Yes, I did study Russian at the DLIWC. Yes, they did put me into ASA. Yes, I did spend extra time at Fprt
Meade. Yes, I did spend a year on the Hill in Sinop, Turkey. You mentioned on the phone that you had
talked with Tom Hathaway. Tom and I kept in contact from right after our discharge from the Army in
1965. We roomed together in Chicago for a couple of years before he got married. Tom's wife, Karen,
became my ice skating partner for some years at a local ice rink. I had had brief communication with
Steve Lester over a year ago. Years ago Tom Hathaway and I had traveled to Waukegan, WI to have
dinner with Charlie Malsch and his wife. I'm sorry to say that that was as far as the relationship went. I
haven't talked with him since. I have been in close contact with Richard (Dick) Martindale over the years.
He was part of our Monterey/NSA/Sinop group. Dick lives in Seattle now. There has been no contact from
here with anyone else from our Sinop group. I wouldn't know where to find them. However, Dick
Martindale and I have been trying for years to locate a friend from the Language School who was shipped
to Japan while we were in Turkey. From all of the sources you have, where would I look to find the current
whereabouts of Charles Morgan Fox? We have done extensive internet searches and have found a
number of people named Chuck Fox, but none of them have been the right Chuck Fox. We have no idea
where he has been living in the past 40 years. Perhaps you have some sources.

GODWIN, Doyle W, YOB 1943 RA12653462 E3-E4 MP Det 4, 64-65, (Linda-deceased), 56 Amy Dr,
Tonawanda, NY 14150, 716-694-4853, - Contacted on 26 November 2005 for the
second time. Doyle was most responsive and informed that he has the dreaded liver cancer for the 2nd
time, He beat it in 1984, but this time its beyond cure or so Doyle informs.

GRITIS, Peter YOB: 1921, CPT-MAJ, Ops O, Det 27, 59-JN62, (Helen- dec, 2/W Betty-dec), 5236
Inverchapel Rd., Springfield, VA 22151, 703-321-7258, Ret LtCol

Pete Gritis is and has been a faithful subscriber to my DOOL efforts. He was among the first officers to
be assigned for operational duty at Manzarali. When Pete Gritis arrived in Ankara with his family - Det 27
was commanded by LTC Walter Ewing and consisted of a small cadre working out of a building across
from the American Embassy. When Det 27 became operational Pete Gritis was assigned as the Ops
Officer. The first Ops Sgt at Det 27 was MSG Bobbie Blunk. The first commander at Det 27 was LTC
Dimpster Epperson, followed by LTC Vernon Y. Cornelius and then Col Van Oosten.

Little is known about Pete Gritis and his WWII service. Pete was born in Chicago, IL and attended the
University of Michigan for 2 years and was drafted into the army in early 1943. He was inducted at Camp
Grant near Chicago, then took basic at Camp Joseph G. Robinson near Little Rock, Arkansas. And then
to Camp Fannin outside Tyler, TX for what was to attend OCS, but was hospitalized and after recovery
was sent as a PVT to Fort Benning, GA for combat duty with the 7th Armored Division. Pete and the
entire 7th Armored Division departed New York on the Queen Mary on 7 June 1944 and zig-zagged
across the Atlantic without convoy and onward to Gotwich, Scotland where they drew combat equipment,
etc., at Tidworth Barracks and then sent to Southhampton and crossed the Channel landing on UTAH
BEACH where they alit on 11 August 1944 and thence were in combat for 172 days. Pete saw combat
with the 7th in its sweep across France, Holland and Belgium and was part of the offensive over the
Rhine and into the heart of the German Reich, covering 148 miles in five days. Pete Gritis was there in
April 1945 when the 53d German Panzer Corps surrendered to the 7th Division and the eastern sector of
the Ruhr pocket collapsed. Later the 7th Division cut across the Elbe and swept to the Baltic Sea and a
meeting with Russian Forces. near the Mulve River. The 7th Armored Division was also known as the
“Lucky Seventh”. It was also called the “Ghost Division,” because it haunted the Germans all the way
across Europe; “Stonewall Seventh,” because of its defensive ability and “The Rattlesnake Division,”
because the enemy never knew where it would strike next. Later Pete was sent to Camp Lucky Strike
just outside of Paris for processing back to the states. He entered WWII as a PVT and at its end was a SGT.
He sustained a grievous wound during the March 1945 offensive storming of the Remagen bridgehead in the
reduction of the Ruhr Pocket. Other WWII awards include the COMBAT INFANTRYMAN BADGE and a
BRONZE STAR with V device plus other unit and foreign awards. The V device signifies an act of combat heroism
and extreme bravery in the face of direct enemy fire and that Pete Gritis placed the safety and lives of his fellow
soldiers above his own. During WWII the 7th Division traveled 2260 miles during its combat career, destroyed 2653
enemy vehicles and captured 3517 enemy vehicles. Prior to crossing the Rhine it had captured 9045 prisoners.
From Osterbergen, Germany Pete Gritis was sent to Camp Lucky Strike located not far from Paris. It was a transit
camp used for the return of troops to the United States.. In small and large groups and individually, the
members of the 7th Divsion went home. Some remained in the Army or affiliated with other branches of
the military. Most, however, returned to civilian pursuits and the 7th Division was inactivated in October
1945. Pete Gritis returned to finish college and then re-entered the US Army as a 2LT and retired as a Lt
Colonel in November 1968 with 22 years of active duty.
Go to DOOL#125 for additional info on Pete Gritis who promised to re-write his BIO

HATHAWAY, Thomas M YOB 1940 RA16757955 E4-E5 988RU Det 4, 64-65, (Karen), 3333 Emerson St,
Evanston, IL 60203, 847-675-3547, - Contacted on 25 November 2005.

HEIKER, Vince YOB: 1942, RA17638935, E4-E5, 988RU, Det 4, AU64-AU65 (Sheryl), 1402 Saint
Francis Ln, Flower Mound, TX 75028, 972-691-9023,

Contacted on 25 November 2005 and had interesting chat with Vince. During his tour at Sinop he
represented Det 4 at the MSC chess championships at Athens. Visited most of Turkey. - Elder, thanks for
contacting me. I’ve been gradually writing up my ASA experiences for our kids and grandson, but have
only the first part done to a point where it can be shared. I’ve copyrighted the material but you may
reproduce it in your newsletter and/or post it to your website. This first part covers why and how I joined
the ASA, followed by basic training experiences at Little Korea aka Fort Leonard Wood. Part 2 is
Monterrey CA. Part 3 is Fort Meade MD. Part 4 is Sinop. Part 5 is discharge and afterwards that relates
to the experiences. These parts are mostly in outline and random notes shape. I did not keep any written
records when I was in the ASA, so have been reconstruction these – like the first part – from my aging
memory. Perhaps the Boy Soldier book and the newsletters will help refresh my memories better.
Soon after high school and admittance to college, I work full time job at Automotive Club of Missouri
(AAA). I major in Aerospace Engineering at Parks Air College of St. Louis University and attend full time
on a partial scholarship (partial tuition) which I soon lose. My first car is a 1956 Pontiac Star Chief
convertible with a ragged white top and white over red two tone paint, purchased for $600. It comes
complete with bald tires, bad brakes, automatic transmission about to drop onto the ground at any
moment, gas guzzling 8 cylinders engine with worn out rings and other hopeless parts. One bumper is
bent out like a hook, perfect for catching any unwary pedestrian too near the road. One small stretch of
four lane divided highway lets me accelerate to about 110 mph briefly for the fun of it. Gets about 8 mpg
of gasoline and about 50 miles-per-quart of oil. Even with gasoline at $0.149 to $0.179 per gallon with
green stamps and free drinking glasses thrown in, the Pontiac is too expensive to operate, especially with
its constant repairs.
Trade the gas guzzler in on a reliable 1957 Studebaker Silver Hawk coupe, two tone white top and
yellow-gold bottom, with 3 speed manual transmission and overdrive in any gear. The overdrive makes
the car a 6 speed. First gear is cantankerous because it is not synchronized. Car gets great gas mileage -
about 17 mpg. Soon learn that the Hawk has finely developed the trick of the surprise vapor lock. It
practices its trick randomly when I pull out on any two lane stretch of road to pass some slow SOB
(translation: anyone not late for class driving slower than me). When this happens, the engine dies, I
coast back into the right lane then to the road shoulder, wait a half hour, then continue on to Parks. Get to
the small four lane divided stretch and the Hawk just can’t do more than about 90 mph, and I am late for
another class.
By 3:30 PM daily I leave Cahokia and drive to my night job in mid-town St. Louis. Some days classes run
later so I must make up the lost time at work on other days. This drive is over traffic heavy pot holed
streets from Cahokia, into the dreaded heart of East St. Louis Illinois, then over an old bridge and the
Mississippi River, into and through downtown St. Louis, then out to mid-town and the AAA building.
One afternoon a guy runs a red light near downtown St. Louis and clips the rear of the Hawk. He pays me
a couple hundred dollars cash to avoid reporting the accident to his insurance company. I use the money
for more important things than car cosmetics, such as dates, eating and gasoline.
My parents are no help at all with college. Mom expects me as the oldest to do most of the house work
and to take care of my youngest (toddler) sister Cindy most of the weekend – which I enjoy doing, she is
kind of my first daughter. College homework, especially an aerospace engineering curriculum, is far
beyond mom’s experience and understanding. Dad, who never had any aspirations of his own other than
being in the Army, being a taxi driver and avoiding all possible responsibilities, does not want or expect
me to do any better than he has done. His low expectations are the same for my brother and for each of
my three sisters.
After completing two of the three years, my grades spiral down to 1.88 GPA. I drop out too fatigued and
too burned out to continue. I lose my job at AAA to top it off in part because I am now eligible for the draft.
(But mostly lose my job for other reasons, a story for another context.)

The draft hangs over the head of every male adult near my age, affecting their plans and lives
The draft is clearly and grossly unjust because only males in good health are required to serve for two
years. This circumstance is made even more unjust because those families able and willing to keep their
kids in college, can postpone and usually totally avoid their kids having to serve two years of involuntary
servitude, which will most likely be in the dangerous and worthless Vietnam War.
I hope the draft never returns. But if it does return, then it should be a one-time required universal service
for all who have the right to vote, regardless of sex or health status. Those not healthy enough for military
service can instead serve in other organizations or charities or can perform KP and administrative work
for the armed services. The key element is that all who have the right to vote must serve if there is a draft
– which then obviously affects how those young people and their parents vote. This might keep us out of
future Vietnams or get us out sooner.
With the Vietnam War getting worse, choices for most young men not in college in 1962 are to:
enlist with some control or
volunteer for the draft or
wait to be drafted or
live in Canada.
In 1962 enlistment in the Army or Air Force is for three years, and for the Marines or Navy it is four years.
Getting drafted is for two years.
If drafted, the service is the Army and there is no choice about assignments. Translation: Vietnam War
service likely.
If enlisted, then there is some control: the enlistee can choose
the first location where he will serve after training; or
to serve with a buddy who enlists at the same time; or
a military occupational specialty (MOS) from a wide selection for which the enlistee will be
trained, providing he passes the prerequisite tests for the selected MOS. If he does not pass,
then it is solely the Army’s choice for his MOS and assignments.
Employers in this period of time do not hire males who are likely to be drafted, a Catch-22. Moneyless
young man must first work to save funds to enroll in college full time. But he must first be enrolled in
college full time to get a job. Employers are largely free to discriminate in hiring practices in 1962.
(Saul Bellow wrote a short existential novel called Dangling Man, worthwhile reading to get a better
understanding of what this time period was like, for a male aged 18-24 and eligible for the draft in the
1950’s and 1960’s. The primary theme of the novel is that not deciding is the same as deciding, but the
mental state and circumstances of the primary character are very typical of what we each faced.)
Well, here I am living in a Catch-22 universe, temporarily not attending college full time and needing a job
in order to save enough money to get back into college.
For over a month, I fruitlessly search for a full time job. Finally, dad forces me into the service of my
choice by selling my Hawk (car and loan are in his name and I cannot make the small loan payments and
insurance payments without a job).
Down to the recruiting office we go. After a little discussion, the recruiting sergeant suggests the Army
Security Agency (ASA) and becoming a foreign language translator as a means of getting away from my
technology burn out. And by the way, he says that my two years of college Air Force ROTC and four
years at an US Army based military high school should get me a fast bump in rank and let me skip part of
basic training. He makes a copy of my college transcript and the Army’s long standing agreement with
this military high school, to that effect.
On the scheduled day I get up early and take a bus to the armed services induction center, in downtown
St. Louis.. Each of us prospective inductees is given a very impersonal and thorough and dehumanizing
physical exam in small groups simultaneously, a batch assembly line process. Next we take several
written tests. Unfortunately nothing is found to disqualify most of us from service, so we unfortunates are
told to report back early the next day, and what to bring with us (very little).
The next day we are sworn in formally, given a pep talk and loaded aboard a sleazy old Greyhound-like
bus and driven to a bus depot in St. Robert, a military town just outside of Fort Leonard Wood.

Fort Leonard Wood
Reception Station. November 12, 1962.
About 20 of us gather over the next hour and wait. We call the base for transportation and are introduced
to an Army concept called "hurry up and wait". Eventually we board a military bus that proceeds to the
dreaded "Reception Station (Center)". As our feet touch the ground we are shouted into two lines, rollcalled
and counted. In just a handful of seconds we are pronounced dumber than crap by the all-powerful
corporal herding us, dressed smartly in his starched, sharply creased, impressive uniform and, we note,
very short hair. Remember, his is the age of long hair. We’re marched over to an old WWII era wood
barracks and each recruit is capriciously assigned a bunk by the corporal. We’re shouted outside, mill
about, are shouted into a column of twos and told we apparently are incapable of counting to two. We
double-time, more or less in step to the corporal’s unintelligible cadence, about 100 miles (it seems) over
to another WWII era wood building to be given the world’s fastest haircut. The haircut is very effective
shock therapy, only bristles remain. Some of us think its funny, while others visibly tear at the
unrecognizable bald images staring back from the mirrors. Double-time in a daze accompanied by the
corporal’s most impressive yelling and cussing, over to another, larger wood building, before we can get
to thinking too much about our experiences thus far. At warp speed, a confused blur really, we are issued
fatigue uniforms and dress uniforms and underwear and boots and shoes and socks and helmet liners
and helmets and caps and hats and metal insignia and name tags and whatnot. There are disinterested
attempts to measure our sizes but sizing is mostly done by the supply sergeant’s instant, experienced
Kentucky windage. His fitting challenge is that our physiques will change over the next several weeks, as
we are whipped into shape, so the present goodness of fit is irrelevant, although we don’t know this at the
time. Improbably, this stuff will actually fit pretty well by the end of basic.
The stock room PFC’s (Privates First Class, who are sort of minor deities to us by now) throw an olive
drab and black and brass blizzard of stuff at each of us. We grab what we think is meant for us, and put
everything into a canvas contraption called a duffle bag. Bag is damn heavy by the end of the long
counter. We get through this gauntlet and outside, to form <surprise> a column of twos. The entire
sartorial process takes maybe five minutes for the 20 of us.
At a brisk but blessedly not double-time-speed cadence we march back to our barracks each carrying a
75+ pound duffle bag. It is a long way to the barracks. Many of us severely disappoint the corporal with
our inability to tote such a meager load for what he says is such a short distance. The corporal does not
like to be disappointed. The corporal is quite skilled at inserting the all purpose "f" adjective before each
noun and pronoun. There are many interesting variations in its pronunciation and conjugation. Those who
falter with their light loads are introduced to the art of push ups and they must then run to catch up while
the corporal loudly and colorfully explains their genealogies, intelligences and sexual inclinations to the
rest of us, who would rather die cruelly crippled from our 75+ pound burdens than disappoint the corporal.
We get a couple minutes to unpack and we change into fatigues and boots. The corporal and a new god,
the drill sergeant, scream anatomically improbable instructions to assist anyone who can’t quickly quite
figure out what goes on where and how.
Then outside again, column of twos, double-time to get our first shots, lined up outside another ugly WWII
vintage wood building, this one smelling of disinfectant.
No one tells us what we’re being inoculated against and we know by now, not to ask. We are asked about
allergies. We’re told that if we are dumb enough to move even a little away from an inoculation gun, it will
rip an impressive hole in our arms. Two serious looking medics on each side shoot us in both arms with
inoculations. One guy near the front of the line moves then yelps. His arm is sliced open a little and
bleeds pretty good. Nobody else moves away.
We’re herded into the ugly building and given unpleasant physical exams. These are more thorough than
our pre-enlistment exams, and are done as impersonally and immodestly and as fast as possible. This
achieves the secondary Army objective of the physical exams, removal of all possible remaining traces of
We double-time over to the mess hall for supper. Inside we pick up metal trays and barely recognizable
things are ladled onto the trays regardless of our requests. We sit down to eat. Tired, uncomfortable and
dazed, we speculate about tomorrow’s dreadful duties.
Individually and in small groups, we walk back to our nearby barracks and discover that we have
considerable work left to do this evening.
First we must remove the protective plastic coating from the new brass insignia and belt buckles, and
polish them. Then we must polish our boots and shoes several times. The concept of spit shining is
learned. We get our footlockers and cabinets at opposite ends of each bunk "squared away". Then we
shower and clean up for bed.

The lights wink on and off several times and someone shouts lights out in 5 minutes. Lights out and we
try to sleep with our bristled heads on hard bunks in a chilly barracks. One poor soul is appointed first
watch fireman, and another woke up later for the second shift. My turn would come another night.
A barracks fireman’s job is two-fold: stay awake at his inside first floor post to watch for fire in order to
sound the alarm and wake everyone up on both floors if he sees fire or smoke; and go outside into the
cold night, around to the end of the building, open the shed-like door, check the coal fired heater and
shovel coal into it as needed. None of us claim to have ever seen a coal fired heater before, so each
evening the appointed firemen are given invective laden instructions by the corporal. Almost immediately
it seems to us, we hear some jerk playing a loud bugle, lights are on, and a louder drill sergeant is yelling
angrily at us to get up, get dressed, shave and fall out in two straight lines for PT (Physical Training).
After calisthenics we double time, column of twos, to breakfast. That white brown-streaked baby barf stuff,
with what looks like insects or bird crap floating in it, we learn, is called SOS or Shit on a Shingle. It is an
acquired taste, not really all that bad over toast. Hungrily we eat a lot of everything we can get.
We stroll back to the nearby barracks. Waiting there is the corporal, in his perpetually intolerant mood. He
instructs us in art of policing the grounds, which generally means picking up cigarette butts and filters
strewn all over the frigging grounds by some obviously thoughtless ass holes. (Refer to later comment.)
For the duration of the Reception Station stay, we double-time everywhere then wait outside and practice
policing the grounds.
The corporal provides a constant and most impressive litany of invectives, insults, threats, genealogical
observations and the like, to motivate us properly, while we work stooped over picking up this shit, trying
to not get our fatigues soiled with grass stains or torn by the ever present Missouri rocks and gravel.
Finally the last slow eaters stroll back, and the corporal blows a whistle. We are formed into a column of
twos, and double-timed over to the testing station.

Testing Station.
We take dexterity tests and aptitude tests and psychological tests and stranger tests. We appear to take
the same initial general tests, but following those, we take different tests. Test selection depends upon
what specialty or training we are supposed to receive as our reward for having enlisted for 3 years. Later
the selections are a function of how well or badly we did on prior tests.
When I enlisted, it was to be trained in a foreign language, to get as far away from science and math and
thermodynamics and aerodynamics and statics and strength of materials and fluid mechanics and
technology as I could. Funny, how things turned out.
After the general IQ test is scored, two testers behave a little strangely around me, and feed me a couple
more IQ tests. (Fifteen years later when I get the scores from the MENSA and Intertel tests, figure out
why.) Ace the language aptitude test thanks to 4 years of writing and reading high school Latin. Do well in
Morse code testing and really well in some cipher puzzle tests. Surprisingly do ok in mechanical aptitude
tests even though at this time I am a total ignoramus with tools.
The few of us who take and survive the language aptitude tests are given a long list of languages and told
to put them into our preferred sequence. I stupidly list French first, figuring it would be highly useful for
picking up girls - forgetting totally that French guarantees a stay in South Vietnam. Next I rank German,
knowing a little bit of it from 3rd-4th grade in Heidelberg, and from my dad. My 14th or maybe it is my 11th
choice, is Russian. The Army assigns me to Russian.
Many years later this turned out to be one of those amazing coincidences. One of my sisters discovered
that our father’s Prussian/Austrian/Czechoslovakian/Hungarian/German (depending upon who was in
charge any given year over there) ancestors were Catholic merchants and traders. They purchased
goods in France and sold the goods in Orthodox Russia of all places – for two+ centuries worth of
generations until some of them left for American in 1865, after the US Civil War ended.
Towards the end of the third or fourth day of testing, there are only two of us still taking tests. That beats
policing the grounds, which occupies those who finished earlier. That does not make the two of us very
Meet with a sergeant between tests and ask about the Christian Brothers College deal (CBC was my
Catholic military high school, which was originally a College around 1900) wherein I am supposed to be
enlisted as an E-2, day one. The sergeant says he’s never heard of such a thing and asks for proof,
which I clearly recall giving to the recruiting sergeant back in St. Louis to copy as part of my enlistment.
This was also supposed to cut out some basic training. Oops. Army recruiting centers are evidently great
experience builders for future used car salesmen. Phone my parents to ask them to mail me the original
certificate, but they do not take a few minutes to find and mail it to me. Many years later find the certificate
in a scrap book.
We each take at least one turn at KP (Kitchen Patrol) which starts in the mess hall kitchen at 3:30 AM.
Mess hall kitchen is way too hot and humid. We clean floors, tables, metal food trays, pots, anything and
everything not still alive. Some of us help prepare food, done mostly with machinery and in large batches.
Some lucky recruits get the easy job of ladling out food during meal times, and now that we are
experienced veterans, we have a little fun with the newly arrived doe-eyed, dazed recruits that just a day
or three ago were us. We ignore their special requests and pile on extra helpings of anything they try to
Oh, yeah, forgot to mention earlier, we are told to take as much of whatever we want but that we must eat
everything on our trays. No one instructs us as the ladlers, to heed that policy. What is it about us
inmates, that we treat our fellow selves so badly when we are on the opposite side of the steam tables?
It might be possible to be more tired than after a long 18 hour day of KP but I don’t think so.
The KP labor pool is augmented by the extra KP cycles assigned to a few individuals who are remarkably
inept or who decide to remain contrary individualists despite the best efforts of our instructors and drill
sergeants. Rumor is that one older gentleman has been recycled at the Reception Station countless
times, and has been on KP for years. We wonder if he will get military retirement benefits after 20 years of
.We are given more inoculations, more tests and more PT. We start dismounted drill training and practice,
wherein some of us (me, for example) demonstrate our amazingly consistent inability to determine right
from left. Is there a "mounted" drill? Is it performed while riding horses or driving tanks or something else?
Finally we are assigned to our next units a week after arriving at the Reception Station.
Basic Training.
Real basic training begins. I’m assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion Engineers, 3rd Regiment, 5th Army.
My group is lucky and gets the new 2-story brick barracks heated by something automatic and thermostat
controlled rather than by burning shoveled coal.
This November 1962 is very cold, unusual this early for Missouri. Most classes are given outdoors.
Reveille and then roll call start before 5:00 AM every morning, sometimes as early as 3:30 AM – depends
upon what is scheduled for that day and how far we have to double-time and run to get there.
Every night we pass out exhausted, then each morning suddenly the barracks lights are on and some
bright, cheerful (or crabby) corporal or sergeant, fully dressed and groomed and raring to go already, is
rousting us out of the warm bunk beds. Breakfast comes only after calisthenics and shaving and
grooming and our beds have been made to Army quarter-bouncing tightness.
We meticulously and constantly clean our barracks toilets and sinks and showers and floors and outside
grounds, keeping them ready for inspection. We clean and shine our shoes and brass and boots and
compete to see who can either do that the best, or get by with the worst. At least we can get our fatigues
and underwear cleaned by a laundry on post, but that is not free.
We’re assigned an M-14, taught to disassemble it, clean it and assemble it quickly. We clean it and it is
inspected more than anything else. Woe to anyone whose rifle is found in imperfect condition, it is extra
KP or worse. We hate KP and none of us want to find out what worse is.
There are constant inspections in ranks outside and inspections of our foot lockers and barracks inside. I
suspect the inside ones are partly searches for contraband such as drugs and booze and Playboys.
There are occasional formal inspections by unhappy officers. Fault is found even where none reasonable
exist. "No excuse" sir or sergeant, is the only acceptable response.
We exercise at least twice daily, practice dismounted drill and generally get the crap scared out of us by
the instructors.
We chant dirty rhyming nonsense synchronized with each footfall for our dismounted drill and double-time
marches. In heavy boots, we double-time more and more everywhere, for longer and longer distances,
mixed with more and more stretches of running faster than double-time. We are usually loaded up
carrying rifles and other equipment. We have an occasional practice for parade formations.
It gets colder and colder. Uncomfortable is such a woefully inadequate adjective. If we dress too warmly
we sweat and the sweat freezes on our faces and hair and then we freeze. If we dress too lightly, we
freeze when we’re not moving around briskly. Always a moist chilly wind is blowing.

Medical Care.
The Army does take care of its own in its own ways. Our eyesight and hearing are tested. Those who
need them, including me, receive new glasses quickly, so that we can function at the rifle ranges. There is
no choice. We each get the same gray plastic frame for the glasses. Meanwhile, an army dentist with
aspirations of becoming a wealthy orthodontist decides to befriend me and to make me his first significant
orthodontic patient, and thereby do me the large favor of replacing my aging "temporary" plastic dental
appliance with two bridges. He tells me that it is not strictly per regulations, wink-wink, but he really wants
to help me, so we should keep quiet about this process. Fine by me, I am highly self conscious about the
uncomfortable, smelly, awful looking "temporary" orthodontic appliance that I’ve worn for five years now.
My parents could not afford to pay for bridges, nor could I. Besides, it is warm in the dental office and I
avoid some basic training for these appointments. He takes impressions, drills down the inside of some
teeth, takes more impressions, makes molds and matches colors for the two false teeth to replace my two
missing ones. He puts in some temporary large plastic fangs and crowns that look terrible. This takes
several visits. Finally on the big day, I report back to have the bridges installed. Said dentist has
mustered out, leaving his masterpiece to be finished by the older, senior dentist officer who greets me. He
is not happy about this violation of regulations but we are where we are and now it must be finished. He
looks at the work, shakes his head and begins the corrections. He has great difficulty not cursing the
departed dentist excessively and mumbles some apologies and tells me that the prior dentist had no
authorization to do this kind of work on a recruit and anyway he should not have been messing around
like this and besides he was not very good at it, not at all. Just great! And this should make me feel what?
Guilty? Screwed? Deformed for life? I’m terrified enough of dentists by this stage of life, and got other
worries about drill sergeants and corporals and the like, and I really do not need this. He does some more
of whatever orthodontists do at this point to fix a major foul up. Fitting, drilling, sanding, abbrasing,
polishing, jack hammering, some cussing, more Novocain for me, my jaw and cheeks have disappeared
from this earth, mysterious sometimes bloody things are going on in my mouth, I’m drowning on saliva,
finally right side bridge fits fine so he installs it temporarily, looks pleased, then goes to more on the other
one, frowning a great deal. Left side is a little off. Rather than waste more of his labor and my time in
basic training and tax payer money and military funds by making a well fitting replacement that would
require maybe three more weeks, he gets this one to fit well enough for an enlisted man. He has me bite
on carbon paper and adjusts and readjusts for proper bite. At last he permanently cements the bridges in
place. By this time, some feeling has returned and the bridges feel strange and I’m worried that I’m going
to still look like a vampire. Then he shows me the handiwork in a mirror – and it looks marvelous. He
pronounces me as good as its going to get in this man’s army and sends me back to duty. I am ecstatic
about being rid of the "temporary" dental appliance.
Each morning there is sick call, if a recruit is really ill enough to risk the serious displeasure of our
corporals and drill sergeants. I catch one damn cold after another, each one worse than the one before.
Finally contract a terrible case of bronchitis. Go on sick call one morning a week for three consecutive
weeks, absolutely have to, am really that sick. Miss a couple days of rifle range training. Noncoms are
convinced that I am a wimp and am going to "bolo". "Bolo" means fail basic training, in which case a
recruit must repeat it. If failed a third time, a recruit earns a medical or other type of less than honorable
In the middle weeks I am thoroughly miserable, feverish, aching and tired all over, hacking, congested,
running at the nose, sinus head ache, hoarse with a terrible sore throat and often seriously out of breath
on the double-time and faster runs out to the training stations.
Many years later find out that I’m unusually susceptible to second hand smoke. Both of my parents are
heavy smokers. During basic, almost everyone smokes except the officers, who probably smoke in
private, and we live in constant, heavy second hand smoke in the barracks, mess halls and outdoors.
Well, hey, someone has to provide all of those butts for the reception center guys. So now you know the
sources for that endless supply of ground policing materials and who the aforementioned asshole litter
bugs are.

BCT Conditioning.
PT begins in earnest – physical training and physical tests, very challenging for most of us out-of-shape
city boys. Any infraction results immediately in award of an imposing number of pushups accompanied
with merciless hazing by the noncoms. As we get into better and better condition, the number of push ups
increases, always a stretch beyond what we think we can do. Somehow we almost always get through
them. The obstacle courses are progressively difficult and some are downright dangerous and scary.
We hang onto overhead bars and move 10’ then 20’ and eventually work up to longer lengths. We crawl
through drainage pipes, run over oak hurdles, shinny up and down poles and climb up one side and down
the other side of thick oak frame structures that are maybe 50’ or 90’ or taller. Coming down is more
difficult that going up. I am not crazy about heights so I hate this. We perform team building buddy
system things with ropes over creeks and chasms. We go up ropes and down ropes. There are no safety
nets and no safety devices but almost all of us get through without serious injuries. One recruit falls and
breaks an arm, which means that after he heals, he must repeat most of basic training. A few recruits
"bolo" because they lack nerves or physical strength or will power. Peer pressure helps many such as
me, to get through the worst of these tortures. A squad is penalized if one person fails and is rewarded if
it bests the others and after a while no one wants to let their buddies down. We bond to our squad-mates,
it is us versus them and that is exactly what the Army intends to happen. Our officers and noncom
instructors are each in fabulous physical condition and perform these tasks with us, without showing any
strain whatsoever. They express utter contempt and disgust at any of us "girls" (well, ok, to be totally
accurate, they call us pussies or fairies or momma’s boys mostly) who lag or fail or finish other than first.
We are cussed, threatened, cajoled, encouraged, helped privately, castigated publicly, a few are even
kicked or shoved. And always there are the pushups.

Basic Training Routine and Environment.
Fort Leonard Wood is nicknamed "little Korea". Everywhere there is biting damp cold seeping relentlessly
through our porous fatigues and jackets and even through our heavy, thick leather boots and soft lined
winter hats and gloves. Sky is cloudy and gloomy all day long, most every day. Wherever we march,
double-time and run there are limitless loose rocks and steep hills that seem to go only one way, up. Mud,
snow and ice provide unwelcome variety on many days. We run or double-time-march everywhere in
units, no walking to get from place to place. We learn and sing dirty songs for cadence. The runs to
training sites get longer and longer. The trucks we initially take to the distant rifle ranges and night tactics
practices become unavailable. I like running long distances along the gravel and dirt roads and paths,
excepting that the infernal constant colds get so troublesome and affect me so much that the instructors
are sure I am going to bolo. No way, there is no way I am going to suffer the everlasting ignominy of a
bolo. Surprise them and me and somehow make it through the long runs, bronchitis, heavy boots and all.
We carry our rifles and other combat equipment on all of these runs. Army boots are not made for long
distance running, so we raise crops of blisters and varieties of other foot and leg ailments. When we are
not wearing the boots, we’re cleaning and polishing them. We each have two pairs with which to
alternate, so most mornings the boots start out dry inside. Funny thing. The Army has been doing this for
a very long time. With a few individual exceptions, the PT and long double-time jaunts are things we
manage to do, and at some magical point we begin to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment as we
continue to do more and more things that we had never before thought we could do.. A few times when
the weather is too atrocious for even recruits to endure, we have light duty days and are given janitorial
duties, like waxing administrative office floors with rotary polishing machines and cleaning windows and
restrooms. At least it’s warm. Day by day the cold increases. A few times it rains or sleets or snows but
we ignore all of that, it does not delay any activities or schedules, indoors or out. Only very heavy rains
that last all day, cause any postponements. It gets really, really cold by mid-December. At end of each
day, we either sleep or if we have any money left from our meager pay, head for the PX and consume
massive amounts of 3.2 Miller beer, to little effect that evening but often to considerably effect and
discomfort the next morning. Mess hall food is plentiful and not terribly bad although we grip about it as
something universal upon which we can all agree without fear of retribution. Most of us are broke most of
the time, which keeps the more adventuresome out of trouble. We are E-1’s, the lowest of the low and
we initially earn $78 per month before taxes and any deductions. During basic, a rare across-the-board
military pay raise increases the pay for E-1’s to about $85-$90 per month. Out of this we must pay our
laundry costs which run up to $12 per week. Occasionally we get passes and escape to the sleazy low
life bars just off base. These are replete with working girls but the Army wisdom about recruit pay ensures
that we lack the funds required for social activities beyond cheap, flat beer. At one place the female
bartender is awesomely gorgeous. No one in my group ever scores with her, nor does anyone else we
know. But hope springs eternal among young and hopeful males. We keep going back for beer and the
sharply worded humiliations by the female pros. They know that we are chronically broke recruits and not
worth their time. Some older, experienced, presumably unmarried noncoms do quite well though.

Basic Training Holidays.
Basic training spans Christmas and New Years, so the schedule is suspended for about a week. Recruits
are urged to take leave – I suspect mainly that’s so that there are lots fewer of us for the noncoms to
manage over the holidays. I decide to save the leave time and stay on base, thinking that I will be able to
take leave after completing basic. I am almost the only one left in the barracks, most days and nights.

Read a lot. Get a pass and go to the local dives and PX for beer. Pull KP twice. Week goes by very
slowly. Receive nothing from my parents, no calls, no cards, no letters in response to mine, not a word
over the holidays. But I’ve more or less gotten used to such things over the past several years.
A black guy from the ghetto area in north St. Louis borrows $25 from me as he goes on leave. I should
know better, already know that he is a natural con artist. Lend it on condition that he smuggle in a small
bottle of whisky to me, figuring that peer pressure would protect my investment. Wrong, of course.
Holidays pass. He returns with a cheap pint of vodka, not whisky, and he never repays the balance,
although to be fair, maybe I leave basic too soon, as explained later. I drink the all of vodka in one
session, sitting on top of the tall sturdy metal barracks cabinets, get totally zonked and read aloud from a
poetry book. After a while the novelty of this recital ceases to be amusing to the returning, tired recruits.
The vodka seems to kill off the last of my infernal colds. One guy in our company does not come back
voluntarily. He goes AWOL to Detroit, shoots and kills his girlfriend whom he thinks is cheating on him. He
is arrested red handed by MP’s, as he comes down her front steps. In his hand is the M-14 that he used
to kill her, smuggled off base somehow. So what’s next? He is returned to our company under Article 15,
not a court martial or murder warrant, and he is simply confined to the base and our company area -
excused and freed from all duties! None of us can believe this is happening. Some noncom explains to
us in a morning formation, that the guy is an otherwise harmless nice guy, and that we are not in any
danger. W-e-l-l, that is sure comforting to know.

Basic Skills Training.
Variety of indoor and outdoor classes and practices commence after the Reception Station and continue
for the duration of basic, concurrent with PT. Generally we are taught or practice a slice of three or four
skills every day. We’re taught hand to hand combat using bare hands, bayonets, rifles as clubs and even
knives. I’m a small guy and am usually matched up with a big guy by the sergeants. Painfully hold my
own…I think. We try not to hurt each other but the instructors take over when we aren’t forceful or
aggressive enough. We soon discover that it is better to hurt each other ourselves, rather than to
experience the tender mercies of the instructors. We learn to use gas masks. We are timed as we
practice putting the masks on again and again. We practice giving each other nerve gas injections
without puncturing skin. We are ordered into a blockhouse. We are told that for this practice, a non-lethal
gas which is very uncomfortable if we breathe it or get it into our eyes, will be released. We are told to
NOT put on our masks before the command to don masks, otherwise if just one of us does that we will
have to repeat this exercise. The gas is released and we are forever holding our breaths then the
command is given to don the gas masks and we are timed once again. We all manage to survive and
then wait while the gas is cleared. When we take off the masks we get a small dose - turns out it is tear
gas – we leave the building tearing and hacking. We are taught battlefield first aid. We dig foxholes with
small folding shovels not meant for the rocky clay Missouri soil - hot hard work even in subzero cold. Then
we fill the holes back up. We practice small unit (squad) tactics and close combat tactics and map reading
and compass use and cross country navigation. We learn how to estimate distances and hill heights with
a simple gadget. We apply camouflage and learn to use terrain features and trees and bushes and grass
for hiding and moving around unseen. Sometimes while practicing tactics, colored smoke is used for
signaling. Sometimes we have a simulated gas attack and don gas masks in response. The masks are
very hot, fog up in the cold. It is very difficult to watch where we step and it is hard to breathe through
these damn masks because air does not flow easily through their gas filters. We are miserable and hate
wearing these ill fitting WWII vintage contraptions. We are given hand grenade and rifle grenade
training, first with dummies (all right now, that means the grenades are dummies) then with live grenades.
We manage to suffer no casualties. We notice and hide our amusement at the noncom instructors – who
are visibly very edgy. There is at least one of them very close to each of us when we handle the live
grenades. Later we hear about disgruntled soldiers fragging their own officers and noncoms in Vietnam.
We learn and practice the skills required to get under and past barbed razor wire that surrounds mine
fields. We learn to move through these simulated (we think) mine fields while .50 caliber machine guns
with supposedly live ammunition fire overhead about waist-high with frequent red tracers. These fields are
strewn with pig blood and guts and decaying birds and unknown other stinking stuff for realism.
Explosions like mortars and mines go off next to us as we scuttle and crawl and drag ourselves through
the millions of loose, sharp Missouri rocks which quite efficiently remove layers of skin off of our knees,
bellies and elbows. Lots and lots of muddy puddles and mud and slippery wet clay complete the effects.
Rumor we hear is that some recruit in another unit of our battalion, stuck his head up and got it blown off
by the machine gunners. We speculate that the instructors start such rumors for our benefit and their
entertainment. However, none of us are brave or dumb enough to perform a personal sacrifice for science
to find out if the machine gun bullets are blanks or real. Excepting for the skinning, this turns out to be
exciting and fun. We feel a great deal of satisfaction and bravado after completing our final exam for this
skill, on the most difficult of the obstacle courses.

Basic Rifle Training.
My dad taught me to shoot well, standing up, sitting, kneeling and prone - all of the proper firing positions.
Beginning around sixth grade I got plenty of practice, shooting pesky birds with a pellet pump rifle in our
back yard garden, learning to lead movement and to adjust the trajectory for winds and distance drop –
so the rifle range and rifle training feel like home. Rifle and a little pistol training begin in a classroom
disassembling and cleaning and assembling old M1’s and M1 carbines and BARS and the ubiquitous
Army .45. Then we switch to the M14 after being told that we are one of the first basic training units to get
these new rifles. Our version is purely semiautomatic without the automatic fire selector, maybe to protect
the recruits from themselves and probably to keep any us from doing horrible damage if we go berserk on
the instructors or fellow recruits. The M14 is far more accurate and has a considerably longer effective
range than the M16 rifle that will come along a couple years later. It is the first significant Army attempt to
replace the old WWII M1 rifle. But the M14 is too touchy, jams if you even think about a speck of dirt or
sand. It is not a practical weapon for jungle or desert or any other type of combat and rarely is its long
distance accuracy needed by common soldiers. The M14 is later scrapped when the almost impossibleto-
jam M16 arrives. The M14 is maybe ok for snipers – but there are far better weapons like the
impressive .50 caliber sniper rifle for them (have forgotten the nomenclature for the sniper rifle.)
We learn to adjust the M14 for wind and distance. We learn to hold it properly and we practice firing from
many different uncomfortable positions. We sight our rifles in, which means we adjust the sight and aim to
our rifle’s unique peculiarities and to our minor differences in aiming details.
We practice at the rifle range far more than we practice other combat skills. The rifle range is closely
supervised by instructors, including some who sit in a guard tower overlooking each range so that they
can watch us carefully.
The rifles are powerful and even though they recoil less than a shotgun or the old M1, we still get
impressive bruises in places and even blisters.
Because of the bitter cold and wind we must wear gloves while shooting. The snow and winds and
windless still days with fog make the distant targets more challenging. Sitting or kneeling or in a prone
firing position, the cold ground seeps through our clothing while winds blow across the open rifle ranges.
Firing the rifle is fun but the bitter subzero cold is pervasive.
Day by day our marksmanship noticeably improves and we become proficient and proud of it.
Eventually we are able to accurately hit stationary targets out to about 1000 yards.
Then we practice on targets that pop up for a few seconds each, randomly, all over the range at a variety
of distances.
On one particular very cold day at the rifle range, down two or three slots to the right from me, a really tall
and athletic black kid, who was supposedly his high school’s basketball star and who has NBA potential,
takes his right glove off so that he can shoot better. He has large hands and his large gloves make it
understandably a lot harder for him than for the rest of us, to get his trigger finger comfortably through the
trigger guard.
However, we have been told a hundred times to NOT take our gloves off when handling the rifles and
why. We have also been told to not grasp the metal posts that protect the grenade and rifle ranges.
Now what follows is a somewhat fortuitous occurrence for many of us because he is not the only person
who wants to remove his gloves this day – he is simply the first (and only) one. I am slower and almost do
the same thing but he does so first.
Well, after several gloveless shots, his hand freezes to the rifle. While the rifle range sergeant is shouting
at the poor guy, to NOT remove his hand, the guy complains that his hand is too cold and rips it off of the
rifle, leaving much of his hand’s flesh still stuck frozen to his rifle.
We never see him again. Nor does any pro basketball team, I suspect.
Eventually we take our turns at rifle range qualifying. The early morning is terribly windy and cold. My
glasses keep fogging up. But I score really high, missing maybe only two of the pop up targets.
Instead of my receiving an expected compliment, the range Sergeant is visibly shocked and concerned.
He says something is wrong with my score. He decides to marks it down to just below Expert. He tells me
that otherwise, given my being so damned sick all the time, others, whoever "others" are, will think my
score is bogus and accuse him and our unit noncoms of cheating more than is customarily tolerated.

Turns out that the officers and noncoms compete with bets about whose units will be the best at the end
of basic.
As his sales pitch to keep me quiet about this, the sergeant tells me that my real score might help
guarantee me advanced infantry training on the way to sniper training, which would guarantee a stay in
South Vietnam. His decision is fine by me (and still is).

Night Training.
Late in basic we are taught night movement: how to walk across leaves, twigs, snow and rocks slowly
without noise, how to stay in shadows to remain unseen, how to communicate when moving in units, how
to drop noiselessly to the ground and take up defensive firing positions.
For some reason I love the night training, cold as it is. We practice infiltrating, taking out guards, sneaking
around ultra quietly using small unit tactics and map reading and navigation in all kinds of terrain and
weather. We play small unit war games at night, squad against squad and each member of the best
squad earns a pass. My squad finishes second every time.
Most impressive are the night time fire exercises. Instructors stage demonstrations with live mortars,
RPGs (rocket propelled grenades), M14 rifles, .50 caliber and smaller machine guns, BARs and
occasional artillery, to show the effectiveness of overlapping zones and how important fire power is and
how unimportant individual accuracy is, in combat. The "only" realistic things missing seem to be tanks
and armored vehicles and air strikes with strafing and napalm and antipersonnel bombs. What else is
missing? Oh yeah, some opponents seriously shooting back.

Basic Training Guard Duty.
I am assigned a guard duty tour during the holidays and a second tour later in basic trading.
The guard station is an old wooden barracks. It has a coal burning heater which we must go outside to
Each guard duty tour is for 24 hours, with four hours outside walking around whatever we are guarding
then four hours off for rest, sleep and food. During each of the four hours off shifts, two us are unlucky
and must perform a two hours turn as guard station fireman.
A sergeant and a couple three PFC’s and corporals manage us on each guard shift, drive us out to our
guard posts, check on us from time to time, then bring the next shift guards out to relieve us.
Prior to taking our turn at guard duty, each of us has memorized the ten General Orders, which largely
apply to guard duty. We are required to recite these General Orders many times during basic training,
and we recite them to a sergeant when we report to a guard duty tour.
On a late evening shift during my second guard duty tour, which was after the holidays, I patrol round and
round a small PX building with my empty rifle. It is very boring and very cold and hard to stay awake,
much less alert.
After a couple hours, I go around a corner of the building for the zillionth cold, boring time and, surprise,
the larger PX building cattycorner a block across the way is on fire.
Oh, s-h-i-t! I have no radio, no walkie-talkie and no applicable instructions. There is a pay phone across
the street but there’s no phone book there and I’m clueless about what number to call and besides I don’t
have any change. I cannot leave my post and go over to the pay phone across the street anyway
because that would constitute abandoning my guard post. I have absolutely no way to communicate with
anyone! So what good is this guard duty?
Watch helplessly for a little while and worry that I’ve screwed up somehow then I resume walking around
my building, hoping "it’s not my problem", watching the fire whenever it is in view, until the sergeant in
charge of us guards pulls up in a jeep full of our other keepers. By then he already knows and the base
fire fighters are there. He tells me I’ve done what I am supposed to do. Which I interpret to mean, just
ignore the fire and calmly keep walking around my building with an empty rifle. Okey-dokey, fine by me.
Later we are told that the reason we are guarding PX buildings is that some maniac is going around
burning them down. No reason to tell us guards beforehand, right?
Eventually an unbalanced sergeant is caught. He knew that we basic training cannon fodder guards have
no way to communicate and that we are as good as unarmed – because no one in their right mind would
trust a recruit in basic training with live ammunition away from the rifle and pistol ranges.

Basic Training Bivouac.
We are trucked out to bivouac for a scheduled week outside with tents. These are canvas covered trucks.
We sit sideways on cold benches or on the metal truck bed. The canvas provides little protection against
the wind and cold. Weather is horribly cold and so are we.
Ever try to erect a tent quickly and pound metal stakes into solid frozen clay and rock with a strong wind
blowing and its snowing and its colder than a meat freezer and its getting dark and we’re all very tired and
cold and the damn stakes just won’t go in and damn its cold?
First night is well below zero, snowing lightly and very windy.
Figures. It is cold beyond belief and the Army uses metal for everything, including tent poles and tent
stakes. We have only the small folding metal shovels for hammers.
Finally get the small canvas pup tent anchored enough to keep it on the ground, but there are major
league openings between the bottom edges and ground. Try to cover up those gaps with snow and
leaves and rocks but the wind just blows most of the materials away. Get undressed outside of the tent
then squirm into the cold sleeping bag and try to sleep. Bag is too warm so I sweat. When I partially open
the bag in comes the wind through the major league tent gaps, I quickly freeze on top and sweat with
every part still in the bag. Tent provides no insulation against the cold, far as I can determine, unless its
purpose is to keep the cold inside. Snow insidiously blows in via those same major league gaps. Damn it
is a miserable night.
Hardly sleep, am kept busy trading off sweating or freezing and thinking about the insanity of people who
enjoy camping outdoors.
About 4:30 am reveille sounds from somewhere and it’s time to get up. Manage to get my pants on and
slip the boots loosely on inside the tent, still sweating and at the same time getting very chilled. Oh, man.
Now comes the really hard part. Must get out of the damn tent to finish dressing and lace the boots up,
tent is too small to bend over inside for that. It is so cold I almost can’t breath. Oops, discover that I can’t
lace up and tie the boots while wearing my gloves. Oh shit. Take the gloves off. Fingers freeze and very
quickly have no feeling – well, the gloves aren’t all that effective anyway, so my fingers start out really
cold and numb even with the gloves on, and now….absolutely can not lace up and tie the boots. My
fingers are frozen, unmovable claws. Others nearby are having the same troubles. It’s too cold to even
cuss. It is so cold that if you breathe through your mouth your teeth ache. Tired, chilled through, and very
cranky, I get in line about 50 yards away, for outside mess. No one says anything about all of our untied
boot laces.
Should I mention toes? What toes? No one has toes or fingers or feet this morning.
One more item must be said for your reading enjoyment. Consider. Ever take a leak in the woods in
subzero snowing weather? The wind is blowing and its snowing and the latrine is too far away and your
bladder insists NOW and you unzip and your lungs gasp in about a billion cubic feet of ice-air in shock,
but you really, really have to go, and you take your gloves off and your fingers are not moving and are dry
ice cold and your very personal, very critical and important lower equipment rapidly shrivels, it is not dumb
enough to come out without an icy fight and you get it out and let loose on the snow in the woods behind
a tree and then almost cannot zip up with your frozen fingers? In case you are wondering. Oh, yeah, we
are told to not do this, that we must use the seriously distant outdoor latrines. Tell that to my bladder.
Scrambled eggs freeze hard quickly on the – metal – food tray. Ever eat frozen bacon strips? Do you
know that butter can freeze on toast? OK, it just gets really cold and greasy. Ever watch scalding hot
coffee form ice on top as you walk just 15 feet to an outdoor stand-up-to table looking for shelter from the
wind? Ever put a frozen metal fork into frozen scramble eggs and then into your starving mouth? It is
tooth hurting cold and the scrambled eggs are tasteless cold rubber pebbles. Bacon is cold thin ice-board.
Diced deep fried potatoes are congealed in ice grease. What a fascinating gourmet taste sensation.
I remember reading somewhere that Korea was a bitch in winter, and I think about those poor guys in the
early 1950’s surviving in this kind of crap, in combat, for months on end. That does not warm me up.
Did I mention the latrines? Army does a decent job with outdoor plumbing. There is at least one outdoor
latrine near every practice range, outside classroom and obstacle course. In weather this cold, they don’t
smell as bad inside. They are unheated of course. Lowering pants and sitting down in one of these ice
rooms on freezing wood seats is an unforgettable experience. We hope for constipation. At least the
seats are not metal. Standing up to piss is not terribly much better, what with ice cold fingers and
ventilation that blocks most of the wind but still keeps icy air moving through the latrines. Many years later
I wonder how women recruits fare during the winter months at Ft. Leonard Wood.
We sort of eat, exercise and then sit bare-faced looking into the wind and snow, on bleachers, for a small
unit tactics course or maybe it is the lecture about venereal diseases. Eye glasses protect my eyes a little,
but many others are not as lucky.

The officer instructor is down in front in shirt sleeves, big, big smile, obviously very warm behind the
infrared heater he maybe thinks we can’t see coming from his lectern. He thinks this is funny. We don’t.
What a great morale booster.
So the day goes, with a couple more courses sitting on bleachers, interspersed with PT, running, small
unit tactics, whatever, a frozen lunch somewhere in that, then frozen dinner.
Weather is way too cold to learn. We just want to get someplace warm and we pay no attention at all to
the instructors. Then it’s dark and time for more evening war games. At least after dark we are moving
around more. I wonder if I have any toes, and am not entirely happy to have fingers and a nose.
This second night I volunteer to be a guard and gofer inside the (warm) control point trailer with the radios
and heater, even though I am warned it means no sleep. Manage to get a little sleep because the
noncoms and PFC’s in the trailer have a modicum of pity.
Wow, it is 4:30 AM already and reveille blows. Weather report on the radio is awful. Get my boots on,
laced up and tied in the trailer. Feel like a frozen zombie. Outside in line we get another hot instantly iced
breakfast. Strange, we are kind of getting used to the bitter cold. Or maybe it has warmed to zero.
Somewhere in all of this a recruit goes missing, and is assumed to be AWOL. Some of us wonder why we
don’t have the common sense and guts to do the same.
(Seems he wandered off lost during the prior evening’s night training and later this morning he is shot
during rifle practice among the pop up targets, no one ever sees or hears him.
Days later he is found, dead, in back of some rifle range – but supposedly not the ranges we used. Later
we speculate about whether he suffered hypothermia or froze to death before being shot.)
We go back to the rifle ranges and grenade ranges for more practices.
Frozen lunch, more range practice, frozen dinner. Gets dark and noticeably MUCH COLDER, impossible
as we thought that could be. We’re shown a massive demo of small unit tactics and firepower from just
one very experienced squad of warriors, while we sit in some bleachers. Then we have more night
maneuver practice.
There are latrine and smoking breaks. Damn is it ever cold in the latrines, maybe colder than outside on
the classroom bleachers.
Back we go to our tents. Surprise, mine is still there. Have mucho problems getting undressed and into
the sleeping bag.
Next morning have the same problems getting dressed as a couple mornings ago, but actually it is MUCH
worse. Same routine - hot breakfast and coffee freeze very quickly in the brisk wind and snow flurries.
Later that morning we are told by instructors that the weather is – at that time - 25 below zero without the
wind chill factor, the coldest day in many years there, maybe the coldest on record for that date.
Sure feels even colder now that we know the temperature. This is the third full day following the third
night. I don’t count the first day out here because it was like any other really cold training day until tent
time that night. Ok, picky, picky, so it is technically our fourth day.
A Colonel comes out to inspect before lunch. He supposedly gets frostbite traveling around in his
chauffeured jeep – get this – through his gloves! So being the smart man that he is, he finally calls off
bivouac, on his way to the infirmary.
We take our tents down, clean up the area, then board trucks for a ride back to our barracks.
Once back, we are given hot meals in the warm mess hall and the rest of the day off. Most of us sleep
until the next morning. We are given light duties the next day. Then it warms up a little and we are back to

Basic Training – the End
Suddenly out of the blue, the company’s newly promoted Captain (I think – although he may still be a 1st
Lt.) calls me into his office. Oh, shit, I think, what did I do? Bolo? I stand at attention in front of Captain (?)
William Epperly’s desk in his small cramped office. Seated next to him, I think I see out of the corner of
my eye, is none other than Battalion Sergeant Major Marion Randall, looking at me strangely and shaking
his head. BIG trouble! The captain asks, "Who do I know?" I am speechless. He explains that someone
has pulled strings to get me shipped out to Monterrey early, wants to know what big shot did this. I have
no idea. He says something like this has never happened before in his f..king army. He probes some
more. I tell him my dad’s only a taxi cab driver. Even if he could my dad sure as hell would not ever do
something like this. The Captain and Sergeant Major shake their heads, don’t believe me. Finally the
Sergeant Major hands me orders, to report immediately to the Army Language School at the Presidio of
Monterrey. I salute, about face and leave nervously but mostly relieved. I miss the last eighteen days of
basic training, proficiency tests and the graduation ceremonial parade held on January 31, 1963.

These proficiency tests are conducted over the last several days of basic. A recruit must prove at least a
minimal mental and physical skill in all of the things taught, prior to his next assignment. Those who do
too badly are bolo’d. Actually, truth be told, I think these tests are mostly to settle noncom and officer
bets, and are a means of double-checking that the unit by unit score keeping to-date has been kept within
an acceptable level of cheating. By then they pretty much know who makes it and who does not, and
which unit is the best one. On January 12, after getting my orders, I quickly pack before any one decides
to change the orders. The company clerk tells me that I am not allowed any leave and must report ASAP
to the Presidio of Monterrey. My parents don’t care, they have too many kids at home as it is and I’ve
only been gone a couple months. So, I rush to my first flight on a commercial passenger jet, confused
but happy to miss the rest of cold basic training.
The first leg of the trip is, I think, Ozark Airlines to Denver. Vaguely recall walking to the opposite side of
the long curving terminal for the American Airlines flight to San Francisco. The flight stewardesses are
very pretty and attentive to the (few) soldiers on board. But this is before the Vietnam War falls into
disfavor and before servicemen become baby killers and dopers and most unforgivably, the first
Americans to ever lose a war. That negative view of us Vietnam era veterans has not changed much in
the many years since.
Jet lands in Las Vegas, at dusk, for a short stop. This is my first sight of all that neon lit up at night from
the air, very beautiful. Next stop is San Francisco. From San Francisco, take a bus to its stop in
downtown Monterrey. Call the Presidio and someone picks me up in an open jeep and takes me to the
Presidio. At this time the school is called the Army Language School at the Presidio of Monterrey. Sometime
a little later the school is renamed the Defense Language Institute, West Coast (DLIWC), reflecting
the other armed services also trained there. The jeep driver guides me to the company administration
building and I report in, that evening, on schedule, per my written orders. The company clerk and
company sergeant are mystified, I am not expected for several more weeks - my classes do not start until
about March 24!!! What is going on? Why the rush out of basic training? But, hey, it’s not cold here and I
am not about to complain. So begins my Monterrey adventures on January 13, 1963. My new unit is
company B, 4th platoon.
Side note:
While I was in BCT, FBI agents conduct interviews with my neighbors, former neighbors, some college
and high school classmates, relatives and others, and verify every place where I have lived for every year
of my 20 years of existence. This is a security check performed for the Army Security Agency and
National Security Agency, and from what I hear later, it is very thorough.

HILLMER, Ron YOB: 1942, RA, E3-E5, 058, TK#1, Det 27, FE61-OC62, Hastings, MN, 651-437-6267,
Marahaba! I spent almost 2 years at Det 27. Guys I remember there with me were: Jim Chudy - He now
lives near Hayward, Wisconsin. Larry Dresser - He lived near Willmar, MN, but passed away in 1989.
Charlie Larson - Last I heard he still lives near Poplar, WI. Don Briningstool - I saw him back in 1978 and
then lost contact with him. I believe he moved to Florida and from there back to someplace in Michigan,
which was his home state. Dan Nass, who I recall was an english teacher, but I have no idea where he
ended up. Jon Hansmann - I heard from him for many years at Christmas time. He went back to work for
the ASA in a civilial capacity. My wife and I have been talking about where our last correspondence from
Jon - about 10 years ago, we think, came from and it was either Coos Bay, Oregon - or, Conner,
Washington. Walter Dubicki - Walt was from Michigan. Man, reading off the list of names sure brings
back memories. Art Lanskov, Al Lara, Charlie Orr. One of the career guys was such a "Whiz-Banger" 058
once we got some coffee into him and got him propped up at the console was: He could copy the dits and
dahs that few others could. Hiis name was SP5 Don Charlton. He was the best 058 on Trick#1. Great
Guys!. After a little digging, I managed to find a copy of my travel orders from Fort Devens to TUSLOG
Det #27 APO 254 Ankara, Turkey dated 20 February 1961. I was sent there with PVT Timothy J. Longley
and PVT William C McClelland. I also have a Port Call order for us same three guys Sending us on 6
March 1961 to McGuire AFB in Wrightstown, NJ for air travel to our destination on 19 March 1961. I was
an 058.30 as I recall and have the very poor hearing to prove – like the rest of the "Ditty Boppers" do. As I
recall, I got back to the states in October of 1962. I was discharged as an E-5 Buck Sgt. on 14 June 1963
and spent the months from November of 62 until discharge at Fort Wolters, TX with Don K Briningstool,
Richard Titmus from NJ and Calvin V. Hollis the Third - great guys to hang around with and our main time
was spent chasing girls at TWU in Denton, TX. While at Det 27 I recall there not being much to do but at
least we had barracks buildings instead of tents. I recall being very upset at being extended there
because of the Cuban Miissile Crisis. I remember a guy from Rice Lake, WI by the name of Gary
Hanson. . I also remember there were some weights in the recreation hall and Walt Dubicki, myself, and
Dave Hartson did a lot of weight lifting to pass the time. I only ventured into town two times during my
time there because it was a bumpy ride and I was saving what little money we got back then and taking
some correspondence courses. When I got back to the states I helped train the new guys in setting up
and operating mobile 058 units. I also recall Capt. John Spivey from Fort Devens coming to Det 27 for a
short time from Det 4. He had been with us at Fort Devens. I also recall a good guy by the name of
Barry Fredrickson and how funny it was when we would all go to the NCO club for 15 cent drinks and how
most of us would tease Barry about how it would sound if he got drunk and reported for duty by
announcing himself as Fairy Bredrickson. He was a really good sport about it as I recall. I also remember
that Dan Nass was about the most educated guy in the group and had done a lot of traveling in his life so
he would often tell us stories about having gone to Copenhagen, or as Dan would say: "The Hagen!" He
loved to play tennis and even back then was having trouble with one knee. I wonder how many artificial
knees he has worn out by now. I also recall a fellow by the name of Joe Sullivan who was a very good
college wrestler from Oklahoma. He wrestled in the International Sports Championship Tournament
representing the US in the Ankara area. Joe's opponent was a Turk who was playing dirty and Joe told
the ref about it and warned him that if the Turk continued to do it he was going to break the guys arm. The
ref told Joe to break the arm if he could so Joe did! End of story. I got a nice Letterman's Style blue
jacket out of the deal in the discus throw. I saw Joe and heard from him several times in later years - the
last time being in the early 80's, and last I heard from him, he was the dean of some small college
somewhere in Canada. I remember Jim Chudy building a U-Control model airplane and flying it near the
antenna field. Wow, once I started, the memories just kept on coming. I'm all out of news now though.
It was good to remember the old base but it was a lot more fun in life once that place was behind me.
Boy, Its amazing what 40 years will do inside the old memory banks! My jacket looked like that but for
some strange reason I remember it having silver sleeves. That's probably because I'm confusing it with
my high school letter jacket. I wore the Mediterranean jacket until it started coming apart. It was a nice
one! Thanks for the picture! Thanks for all your work in keeping all the old Det 27 guys on the map

HOOPER, Carroll YOB: 1942, RA14844138, E3-E4, MP, Det 4, 64-65, 201 W Washington St, Greenville,
SC 29601, 864-233-2471, no email. - Received name from Doyle Godwin and contacted Carroll on 26
November 2005. Was surprised to hear from someone asking about his tour of duty at Det 4. Has not
kept in touch with any ex-GI's. Enlisted for 4 years on 23 April 1964. Took BCT at Fort Jackson, SC - the
AIT at Camp Gordon, then onward to Det 4 in Sinop, Turkey. Rode to Sinop in the back of a deuce and a
half that about killed him as the Turk driver drove mostly without the headlights on. Enjoyed his tour on
the HILL Was discharged with 6 years active duty. Is presently bedridden with severe arthritis in his spine.
Was married 3 tiimes. Remembers MP's Doyle Godwin from Niagara Falls, NY;and Lee Ward from
Newport News, VA. Would like to hear from his Turkey friends.

LESTER, Steve P., E4-E5, 988RU, Det 4, 64-65, Moscow, Russia, - Elder, I'm
very glad to hear from you. I have been wondering how to ever find some of my buddies from Det 4, and
poof, there are 4 of them. I have been corresponding with Vince Heiker already, but the others I had no
idea how to find. Could you send me contact info for O'Brian, Malsch, and Hathaway? Or at least some
news of what they are up to these days? probably won't make it any time soon to any reunions because I
am now living in Moscow (not Idaho) and it is a tich far. Also, my wife would need a visa, since she is a
Russian citizen. How did you find these guys? Have you ever heard any news of Robert Forbes, another
of our group? Those were indeed adventurous times, but in a way, kind of quiet compared to my life now,
which includes a little too much European and Asian travel. I gather from some of the DOOLs I looked at
that you served in Karamursel or another post other than Sinop, is that right? What was your MOS? Not
the number, I don't remember even my own, but what did you do there? If it's not a secret? I am glad you
have made the effort to maintain the contacts. Best regards, Steve Lester

MAC KINNON, Don, YOB: 1934, XO, LTC, Det 4, 72-73, 2603 Arrowwood Cir, NW, Bemidji, MN 56601 218-
333-8895, - Hi there Elder.... Its been ages since I've heard from you....I wonder if
you're gettng my Emails and the MOAA weekly up-date. Its cool in these parts of Minnesota. We've already had it
down to 0 a few times. Got about 4 inches of snow which they tell me will be here until May. But we love it here in
northern Minnesota. Should have moved from Maryland to here years ago. Keep in touch...

MALSCH, Charles J., YOB: 1940, RA16757920, E-4-E5, 988RU. Det 4, 64-65, (Joan), 518 Hillcrest Ln,
Lindenhurst, IL 60046, 847-356-6497,

Thanks for the contact and for the pics. Sure brings back a lot of memories. I am attaching a picture of
my wife and myself taken this year. As I indicated to you during our conversation, I have two grown
children and seven grandchildren and also I have been retired for 2 1/2 years from a major international
reprographics company where I was the director of contracts for the United States. I have begun
browsing through the websites you mentioned and have read some of the news letters and pictures. I find
them interesting. I will look through some of my old pics and if I find something of general interest I will
scan them and forward them to you.

MIX, Lowell J., YOB 1940 E5, 056, Det 4, AP62-AP63, (Eleanor), 8640 Crest Hill Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89145,
702-804-0145, - Please note new email address.

O'BRIEN, John S (Jack) RA15663403 BPED 10SE62 ETS 9SE65 E4-E5 988RU Det 4, 64-65, (Kay), 3801 Lujon
Dr., Beaver Creek, OH 45431, 937-426-4433,
The above is Jack O’brien receiving an award from CPT Rocco Navarro on 11 February 1965. CPT
Navarro was a career officer and passed away in Salt Lake City, UT at age 72 on 2 October 2002. The
photo was taken by Rapishrda and after Navarro’s name was: (a mustang).

ORR, Charlie YOB: 1941, RA, E3-E5, 058, Tk#1, Det 27, 60-62 (Sharon), 10561 Breedshill Dr, Cincinnati,
OH 45231, 513-742-4438, no e-mail. Contacted on 3 December 2005 per info from Paul White. Charlie
enlisted in 1959 in Kansas and after BCT went to Devens to learn more about morse code. Was one of
the first 058’s to be assigned to Det 27 and bekieves that he might have been the first 058 there to be
promoted to SP5.

The above photo is Charlie Orr and his first wife, Charlotte White who was the sister of Paul White who
was stationed at Manzarali as a 058. See Paul White entry below.

PARSONS, Fred, YOB: 1936, SP3, 722 C/C, Det 4, JA58-JA59, (Margaret), PO Bx 308 Luka, IL 62849, 618-
323-3636, - Did not locate John Crisp or Lee Van Hosen but did get in
touch with Dick Jensen's niece. He died some years ago from complications of diabetes. Was real
sad to hear that as I served with him in Nicosia, Cyprus and Sinop. Its hard to remember a
particular rock on The Hill as there were so many. Here’s wishing You and Yours a Merry Christmas and Happy
New Year. Don't guess that we will celebrate New Years as we did way back when
ROBERT, T.J. Det 4-4, - Just to let you know that I am back online after Katrina.
Family and I are well just had lot of wind damage to roof and had a few weeks of lost power and just got
telephones back but we are able to live in our home. Hope to hear from yall on what plans you might have
for next year and hopefully things will get back to at least semi-normal by then. T.J.

ROOKS, Dixie, brat of SFC Chas Shatzer, Det 27, JL62-JL64, - Hey Elder, I was
just thinking---I haven’t gotten a DOOL from you lately---155 was the last in September---was that the last
one??? Hate to miss them--- Dixie

RUDELL, Dick RA19647399 058 Det 27, MY60-JL62, - Elder- Seems like
every time I email you I'm off to somewhere. Back to Sacramento for another week of training. I guess
they can teach an old dog "new" tricks. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I found the article
relating to the turnover of Det. 27 to the Turks- also found a bunch of travel orders, club stuff, etc. etc. I
know you've got enough "stuff" to sort through, but I thought you might be interested in some of the
memorabilia my wife wants me to throw away. There's an old Stars and Stripes describing John Glenn's
trip and a Turkish rag I saved for some reason or another. Anyway, when I get back from Sac. I'll post it to
you. Regards, Gule Gule and alasmaladik,

WAITE, Daryl E3-E4 Det 66, Carthage, IL
Background - Kenneth Baldwin
For those of you new to the DOOL, Baldwin is a folk hero of sorts at Det 66. Unsinkable might be more
appropriate. If you recall, when you came into orientation, they said to stay out of the black market. To
back this up, they cited the GI that was caught and sentenced to ten months in a Turkish prison (gasp)
and then years of banishment to a "remote village" (horrors!). This was a deterrent to get rich quick plans.
Fast foreward to 1996 - I became acquainted with the internet at the library, dug out old missed meal
lists, promotion list (all of 3 names - not many allocations in 1964!) etc and began contacting ex-Maulers.
The name Baldwin kept coming up, and someone mentioned an article in TIME magazine, and an
approximate date. Western Ill. U. is a short drive from here, with an entire floor of bound magazines.
Located the article, plus articles from NY Times and Washington Post.
Re the articles, the jailer trusted him with the keys when he had to run errands around town! And the
"Remote Village" was Kusadasi, on the Aegaen Sea coast - and today a major tourist attraction! A fishing
village when he arrived, he showed them how to make money in tourism. (Companion article in Saturday
Review: "Yankee please stay".) Articles mentioned telegrams and letters sent to LBJ for an upgrade in

Research at LBJ Library
On file are letters sent to LBJ (but it appears they never reached his desk) from several citizens and a
family member. The media articles disagreed on his home town - Ithica or Utica, NY. But now, he was
pinned down to Johnson City, NY - Broome County. August 2001: put hunt on back burner - figured best
strategy at this point was to wait for him to find us through a Google search of his name. (There was the
speculation he was in a position where further searching might blow his cover)
Up to this point:
Amongst other Maulers, there was much speculation, but no first hand information of his movement after
leaving Fort Hamilton in mid-1965. Last persons to see him at Manzarali says he had a return ticket to
Turkey in his pocket when enroute back to Fort Hamilton. Note: A later article in TIME states that the
mideavel punishment of banishment had been removed from the legal system - guess it wasn't having the
desired result. Re the article, Baldwin was not pleased with the sentence being shortened.

DOOL 155
Suddenly, instead of 40 years behind, we are only 15 years behind. Gary Cash Googled Baldwin's name
and located us. They were working in Saudia Arabia in the mid-90s. More details in DOOL155.

Back to the hunt
From the Broome County Historical Society and other sources believed to be reliable the following
emerged: He was the adopted son of Bertram and Marguerite Baldwin (both deceased) He has two
brothers, Gilbert and Lowell. Wife as of 1997 was Noris. Contacted Gilbert. He said he hadn't heard from
Ken in years, and didn't really want to. But last heard he was in Tampa.
Note: Never met Ken Baldwin, but do know several that did. He was gone by time I arrived in Det 66, and
discharged 6 mo after I left.TURKEY

Back to the Army
The Turkish government last week rescinded a little law requiring internal exile for foreigners convicted of
certain minor crimes. Most such exiles would have been overjoyed: Not so U.S. Army Private Kenneth
Baldwin, 30 whose banishment to isolated Kusadasi has turned out to be more a reward than a
punishment (TIME June 25) Convicted of selling a PX-purchased tape recorder on the black market,
Baldwin was sentenced to ten months in a Turkish prison, followed by a 2 1/2 year stretch of village life in
Kusadasi. Undaunted, he set about learning Turkish and making friends, tackled the port town's problems
with the energy of a squad of Peace Corpsmen. Kusadasians dubbed him Kemal, "The Perfect One."
With the repeal of the banishment law - caused in part by publicity surrounding his own case -Baldwin
was forced to return to his unit in Ankara [Det 66 - co-located with Det 27 at Manzarali] for transport back
to the U. S. and a bad-conduct discharge. Kusadasians argued that Baldwin would be put to an economic
hardship if he had to pay his fare from the U. S. back to Turkey, and in letters, telegrams and telephone
calls to U. S. officials pleaded that he be allowed to stay. Baldwin, who had fouind a home in Kusadasi,
enthusiastically concurred. Said he: "They never looked down on me because I was a jailbird. Instead,
they have helped me, and I want to repay them by helping them."
Who says one GI can't make a difference?

WHITE, Paul YOB 1939 RA15565498 E3-E5 058 Tk#1 Det 27, JL60-JL62, (Sandra), 412 Center St.,
Erlanger, KY 41018, –

Paul contacted me on 30 November 2005 and here is his email: “I have talked to several of my old TK#1
buddies from the old home site Det 27. I would like for you to see if anyone knows where Bill Munsterman
059 trick#1 1960-62 is these days also Russ Hjilemberg 059 trick#1 1960-62. Dan Nass 058 trick 1 1960-
62 lives in Gainesville FL and Charlie Orr 058 trick 1 1959 to 1962 lives in Cincinnati, OH. I really enjoy
your site and spend quite a bit of time reading "DAYS OF OUR LIVES" keep up the good work.
Elder these are the photos I have that you may want. The first photo is Charlie Orr 058 trick 1 Det 27 1959 or 1960
to 1961 or 1962 his wife and my sister weeks after getting married 1963. The next is Sp. 5 Dan Nass 058 trick 1 on
top of the water tower. The next is home sweet home. The next is my wife and myself 1985. Next is me in Sp 5 058
trick 1 1960 or early 1961. Last is a fellow I served with but can't put a name to would you ask in the next news
letter and let me know if you identify him. This is a story I can recall like it was yesterday. Bill Cowie worked on
trick 1 when he first came to Manzarali. We were working at noon one fine day when a General came to ops. for a
look see. We had just been served our lunch in what we called the shit kits. Bill had his sitting opened in front of
him while he worked. Up the aisle came the General, the Ops Officer, Capt. Gritis, our watch officer, Sgt Joe
DeCaprio, Sgt Howard Bell ( trick chief), and SP5 Don Charlton (room suppervisor). The general stopped at
Cowies possition and asked how his lunch was, Bill without looking up asked how would you like to eat this crap?
The General looked at it and replied, I wouldn't. After that we were sent to the mess hall in shifts to eat our
lunches, and Bill was sent to trick#4 for his trouble. Trick#4 was a trick where trouble makers were sent at that
time. Bill Cowie sure got the shaft on that day. Charlie Orr came back to the states before I did and I asked him to
stop at moms and drop a meerschaum pipe off for me. He saw a photo of my sister I kept on the inside of my wall
locker and liked what he saw, so he was glad to deliver the pipe just so he could meet my sister. They were married
shortly after I returned from Turkey. They did divorce after having three great children. After they were married
they moved to Ulysses {we called it Ulus}, KS but my sister didn't like the flat lands so they moved back. I only
wish it could have turned out better for them. I always liked Charlie except when he had too much at the club and
would come back to the room get in bed and hang over the side and barf on my shoes and boots that I had spent 5
hours spit shining.
I don't know who took the photos I only know the camera was Dans. I didn't own a camera while I was in Turkey.
Dan gave me some copies of the ones he had taken. Your buddy Paul

WIERSKI, Mike Det 4, 64-65, 10 Merion Way, Mantua, NJ 08051, 856-468-3890,
Hello, Served on the Hill 64-65 recently recieved ur e-mail address through Bill Garner. Attended the 13th Field
Station reunion in FLA, this past weekend. I would love to be placed on the newsletters members list etc..... saw
some name already that I haven't thought of u years... Would love to contact Wayne Inman. And am interested in a
DET 4 hat... How can I get one. Send me any instructions on how to be added... Have numerous pictures of the Hill
and would be glad to share them with anyone collecting such info. TKS again