1971 Basic Training

I have several memories at Fort Polk Louisiana during the summer of 1971, and most bring a smile and chuckle. The first is the awful first night in the Reception Station with that shaved head. I was on the top bunk and my head froze. I was a college kid fresh from school and during that night I was so keyed up by the day's events, I did not sleep.

In Basic one of the youngsters called me an "old man". I was all of 22, but my shaved noggin was receding quickly.

Even though I had had a few months in an Army National Guard unit, I still volunteered for typing duties, thinking I would get out of more rigorous chores. While my bunk mates were sleeping the night away, I was working into the night. What a well learned lesson.

My last chuckle comes because of the old, antiquated WWII barracks we had. There were Fire Guards posted all night and I remember those three pound coffee cans nailed to the center posts for cigarette "butts". I certainly didn't like being awakened at 0200 hrs for my two hr shift. But the Drill Sergeant had encouraged us to comply because our barracks was dry pine wood and would burn down in minutes.

Thanks for this opportunity.
Paul Honnold, Kansas, IL

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