Summer of '68

It was August 1968. I was in Air Force basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. I enlisted in the Air Force for two reasons: My identical twin brother Rob had enlisted in the Air Force a year earlier, and my older brother Gary was a Marine and he told me he didn't want me to be carrying a rifle.
Air Force basic training wasn't what I had expected. I thought it would be easy and relaxed, since this is what my twin had told me. But there had been changes. The drill sergeants wore Smokey the Bear hats and acted like Marine training instructors. There was very strict discipline, and we had to run the obstacle course every other day. I hated the rope climb.
One practice for us was to have a barracks "guard" — usually some poor recruit who had upset the drill sergeant. The guard had to stand by the door for hours, and if anyone with one stripe or more entered had to shout "Attention" to the barracks and we had to snap to.
My twin Rob was going off to Korea for a year tour, and he got permission to visit me at basic training. He wandered around until he found my barracks and opened the door to come in. Well, the poor guy on door duty saw the one stripe or "ping wing" on my brother's uniform and shouted just as loud as he could, "Attention!" We all jumped up and stood at attention next to our bunks. But Rob was so surprised at the yelling and commotion he backed out of the barracks. It took him a few seconds to recover and come back in.
I got special permission to take the day off with my twin. We went to the San Antonio "HemisFair," the official 1968 World's Fair. We had a fun time and then he was off to Korea. I was to get a Southeast Asia tour myself - three years later I was in Vietnam.

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