In late spring of 1967, I was in basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. One Friday as we gathered for formation, our drill sergeant asked for volunteers to be drivers, so I volunteered. After we were dismissed and returned to the barracks, some of the guys were getting on me for volunteering, telling me I wouldn't be driving anything except a shovel or a broom.
I reported—along with the other volunteers—to headquarters company the next morning. After taking a driver's training course, we were issued our military driver's licenses and each were given our assignment. I reported to my assignment and at the end of the day returned to the barracks. Everyone wanted to know what I did all day, so I told them that I just sat around until they needed me to go somewhere or pick someone up in the jeep.
The next week our drill sergeant asked for volunteers again to be drivers. He had more volunteers then he needed, so he selected about 20 of them, and we were dismissed.
The new volunteers, like we had been the week before, were told to report the next morning to headquarters company. After reporting, they were each given a shovel, a broom or a rake to drive. They were told they would be helping to beautify the base by driving those tools. When they returned to the barracks, they told us how they were fooled—that all they got to drive were shovels and brooms. They were giving me a hard time, but when all was said and done we all had a good laugh about it.