Air Force Texas Tag

I told the Air Force Recruiter that after 16 years of freezing Winters in Michigan, I wanted to go someplace warm for basic training. On my 17th birthday I arrived at Lackland AFB, TX in October of '63 and was greeted by temperatures in the high 90's with humidity to match.

In addition to the heavy duty green fatigue uniforms we were issued, we were also fitted out with desert pith helmets, like the ones Bob Hope and Bing Crosby wore in the "Road to Zanzibar", to shield us from the relentless Texas sun.

Following the collapse from heat exhaustion of several of the Northern members of our flight, we were restricted to barracks several afternoons where we learned the Air Force method of cleaning latrines, buffing floors, making bunks, arranging foot lockers and removing manufacturing tags from our wool winter blue uniforms and overcoats.

The penalty for "failure to extract" these large cardboard descriptive tags, e.g. overcoat, blue, wool, USAF, etc., was to chew and swallow the offending stickers while the rest of the squadron stood at attention biting cheeks to avoid snickering at the offending Airman.

I must confess to consuming one of these juicy morsels myself and to this day can't stand to have tags of any kind in any of my clothing!

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