Dennis Bertolino, Vietnam 1966


Shots – ouch!

I graduated from high school in 1963. I started college, but my grade point average was lower than my blood alcohol level, so I quit school and hitchhiked to Chicago. I decided to straighten up, joined the Army and was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, for basic training.
Even though I was told NOT to volunteer for anything, I raised my hand when they asked for a truck driver. Hey, I knew how to drive a stick shift! For the rest of boot camp, I would not march out to the ranges but would haul food, ammo, etc. (I never had K.P. duty either!)
In 1964 shots were given via compressed air gun. No needles, but they had to be “set.” My last name put me at the top of the list; I still have dents in my arms from the shots. I recall there was lots of blood and deep cuts. Over the next 12 months, I received all my “shots” – 3 different times.
I spent a year in Germany and volunteered for Vietnam in 1965, part of “The Big Red One.”
After getting out, I got better grades in college and taught school for more than 31 years.

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