At the end of the fourth week of basic training in July 1959 at Fort Dix, N.J., we were allowed a weekend pass if we had a good enough reason. My first cousin was getting married that weekend, so I asked my platoon second lieutenant for the pass. Lt. Cardwell told me I could have one only if I got my head shaved first. Being a scared 18 year old, I did what he requested.
Fast forward two years later. I was an instructor on a 106 recoilless rifle at Fort Devens, Mass. I was instructing four Reserve second lieutenants at my gun site for the entire day. As a range instructor, I was in charge, even though they were officers and I was specialist 4. The four officers knew each other and were joking around the entire day. I kept staring at one of them because he looked like someone I once knew. Then it came to me: This guy was the same officer I had in basic training, Cardwell, so I told the four of them the story of what this one guy made me do so I could get the weekend pass. I mentioned to them what goes around comes around.
At the end of the day shooting, they were instructed that all the empty brass had to be picked up before they could leave. I told three of them to sit down while Cardwell picked up these 100 rounds of brass. The moral of the story is don't be such a smart ass because someday it's going to turn around and bite you in the ass.