Reporting to the Army

In 1961 when I reported to the Armed Forces Examining Station in Kansas City, Mo., we took our exams, had our briefing and were taken out to board the bus for our trip to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. At that time they asked if anyone had any military experience, so being new I raised my hand and said that I had been a Civil Air Patrol cadet for 3 years. They then said fine, you are in charge and here are the records to be carried there. Upon arriving at the fort we got off the bus and this little short corporal (I think he was a career corporal). Anyway, that little dude got hold of me and for the next 8 weeks did not turn me loose. Guess he needed to prove something. I did get away after that when I went across post to A.I.T.
Then I went to Engineer training. I could not pass basic math in school, but that did not matter; they taught me to build roads, bridges and to use explosive. My favorite was P=Plenty.
While stationed in Germany a group of us were put on orders to Vietnam, so we spent two days at the rifle range to qualify with our M-14 rifles. We got to Vietnam and they gave us M-16 rifles; we just sort of looked at them and said what is this.
Then I was stationed in Fort George G. Meade, Md., when Three Mile Island blew up because of the radiation, the civilian workers could not go back in but the Army dump trucks that had to haul in the stones could go in. Well, that's Army life, like it or not. I loved it.

Richard D. Keirn

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