Ft. Polk Basic Training

I was drafted one day before my 20th birthday in 1965. We flew from LAX to Alexandria, LA on a four engine, prop, triple tail constellation. Talk about culture shock at the airport, seeing white only, black only water fountains and bathrooms for the first time. The red clay of LA blended in with the red barracks floor. Multiple shots with the gun by the medics, a six minute mile in combat boots, butt cans, fire watch, the fake 'rifle missing' at 0200, drop the rifle and it's on your fingertips, arms extended, slop in the tray because its raining at the rifle range, 26 mile march and then crawl through the infiltration course, twice - 1st in and last out at the gas chamber.

The best/worst - freezing rain on bivouac, lost my poncho, tried to light a fire in my helmet in the pup tent after they dropped the tear gas on us, woke up the next morning and 30 yards from the tent was a dead 300 lb. javalina with a hole in it's neck. The great thing was going through Polk in the winter was no Snakes!

What memories - onto RAH, Ft. Sill, OK and then the ROK.

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