Just out of basic training, 1960. Eddie Dalton


Tank Hill, Fort Jackson, S.C.

Dropped out of college (age 18) because I knew everything and joined the Army. Third day at Fort Jackson I am watching an officer marching a company by me. He said company halt and came over to me and said what do you do when you see an officer? So I gave him the old Boy Scout salute. He said what kind of salute was that? I said the Boy Scout salute. He said how long have you been in the Army? I said 3 days. He said 3 days what? I said 3 days. He said 3 days sir. I said 3 days sir. He said pick up those cigarette butts on the ground and I said I didn't throw them there. He said I'm giving you an order, pick up those cigarette butts. I said I didn't throw them there and I'm not picking them up. He said come with me to see the colonel. Well the colonel explained how the Army worked so I went and picked up the cigarette butts.
I learned so much in basic training about how to take care of myself and my buddies. I was in the best shape of my life. I came in 2nd place for soldier of the company, my best friend came in 1st. Never forget his name: Donald Dillday. Don't know what happened to him. Second thing was in rifle grenade training. We were in the middle of the class and a jeep drove up and a 2nd lt. got our and saluted our captain, who was our instructor, and handed him a letter. He read the letter and said, attention men, we are at war with Russia and all leaves have been cancelled and all of you will report to a war zone after your training. We were 2 weeks away from Christmas leave and then on to our new assignment. We were devastated and scared to death. He then said that this was not true but it did happen to him some years ago when he was in basic training and what he was teaching us could save our lives someday if we did go into combat. I guarantee you he had all of our attention for that entire class. Memories I will never forget. After basic I was sent to Fort Mammoth and then to Germany. Proud to have served.

Eddie Dalton
« Previous story
Next story »