If ever there was one not cut out to be a soldier, it was most probably me. Two classmates and I decided to beat the draft and join up – the buddy system. Steve ended up at Ft. Campbell, Ky, Bob at Ft. Benning Ga., and I was assigned to Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. We were told to “shut up – you are all in the same Army!”
Two of my more outstanding basic screw-ups were when I knocked both the trainfire sergeant and me flat on our backs from the (slight) recoil of the good, old M1. But my sterling moment came as we prepared to march in a parade. We were given the 5th Army patch to sew on our class As; I was so proud. I somehow sewed it on at 22:00, lights out. The next morning I realized I’d sewn it on my right sleeve, told Sgt. Masse who rolled his eyes, considered who did it, and took pity on me. He told me to rip it off, get my fatigues on, and police the area until they returned. Now, 54 years later, my grandkids look at my pictures and figure I was at least “soldier of the month,” but after three years I believe the Army saw a painless way out and gave me an honorable discharge.