Rerouted at basic

I entered the Army on April 13, 1961 at the Armed Forces Entrance Station in Kansas City, Mo. We then took a bus to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

There, my life changed. As I stepped off the bus this little 5-foot-5-inch corporal got a hold of my you know what and did not turn loose for the next week. Man, was I glad to go a few blocks down the street to basic training.

I had enlisted for airborne and infantry. Well, so much for that. I fell off the top of the ice box where I was shining pipes and broke my arm. Later they called me in and said I wouldn't get what I wanted because of my broken bone.

They were nice about it. They offered me training as a cook or a supply man, and I said it's Infantry or I am out of here. About that time some old non-commissioned officer pulled me over and said, "Look. How about something like Infantry?" He told me about being a combat engineer. It sounded good, so I said okay.

The rest is 20 years of history. I retired from the Corps of Engineers on June 30, 1981.

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