I met my good buddy, Ron Raccioppi, at the Newark, N. J. Induction Center in June of 1965 as we were starting our 3 year Army enlistment.

We were both 18 years old and both from N.J. Ron was one of those good looking Italian kids with thick black coffed hair resembling the Italian singers of the earlier 60's. When we reached Ft. Dix for Basic Training, all that hair quickly disappeared. It was traumatic for an 18 year old with a girl back home.

Basic Training passed by quickly, and right before graduation we were sent to the base barber for a final haircut. Ron managed to use his persuasive way to have the barber leave more hair than normal. He wanted some hair on his head when he went home after Basic prior to A.I.T.

Unfortunately, when he returned to the barricks the D.I. took one look at him and sent him back to the barber for a much closer cut. When the D.I. left, Ron's Italian temper got the best of him and in his rampage managed to put his fist through one of the WWII style barricks' windows.

The resulting medical attention and stitches caused the D.I. to go into his own rampage and was bound and determined to charge Ron with Destruction of Government Property (not the window, but Ron's hand!)

Ron got through the remaining Basic Training testing, bandaged hand and all, and we escaped the wrath of the D.I. and moved on to A.I.T. We both subsequently survived tours in Vietnam, but to this day (now 51 years later) Ron carries that scar from Basic Training on his hand. Today, he can even laugh about it.

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