Basic training

The thing that made the greatest impression on me was how when we first arrived, we were relieved of all personal possessions; clothing, pictures, etc. And we did everything as a squadron with no individuality shown. Then, over the next several weeks, one by one, we were given bits of freedom, such as being allowed to go out on the patio for a smoke or a coke and having a whole 15 minutes to rest and relax free from formation. Toward the end of basic, we were allowed to go into town and buy some civilian clothes which we were allowed to wear on our next trip to town. All of this impressed upon me how many privileges I had known before service, and to appreciate all the freedoms which I had always taken for granted.

Kenneth A. Carpenter
USAF 1961-1965

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