Training for war

In August 1953, after a long bus trip with other newly inducted civilians, we arrived at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The summer heat was beating upon us as we stepped from the bus. We were all told by the sergeant greeting us to line up in rows. There were about 40 persons on the bus. Initially told to stand at attention, we were shown and told how to stand at parade rest.
As the summer afternoon heat continued to beat upon the group, individuals began to drop out from the heat exhaustion. This continued until approximately 15 percent of the men had dropped out. Having been from Florida and worked in the heat of the day for several months at an outside job I was able to tolerate the conditions. As for those who left, we were never told what had happen to those individuals.
This was my introduction the recently returned from battle Screaming Eagles Airborne. These paratroopers returning from Korea were determined to make us physically and mentally fit for the battles to come. Throughout the Basic Training activities they reinforced their efforts to make us men and soldiers. Incidents in weapon training and use of live munitions often brought more reality than I ever expected. I was happy to have survived 6 weeks basic and be able to share the memories. They did their job thoroughly.

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