My Military Career

I retired from the Air Force in June 1983. My military career started when I was 17 years old. I spent two enlistments in the Army and 17 years in the Air Force for a total 22 years 8 months. I spend most of my time outside of the United States. In the early years this was a good thing because the towns around most bases did not like the military personnel, just the money we spent.

I enjoyed my years in the military. The years oversea’s enabled me to meet people from a lot of other countries. I learned some of their languages and the customs. I also learned that as American’s we take to much for granted and want everything handed to us. Even our lower class have it better than people in a lot of countries. I also learned that there are a lot of good people all over the world.

I went through basic at Fort Leonard Wood Missouri. Not much fun. I then went to Fort Knox Kentucky to be an automotive mechanic. I don’t know why because when I went to my first assignment they asked me why I was there. After the first deployment in the winter I decided that I wanted to get in out of the cold so I transferred to Armor. I started out as a loader and then became a gunner.

I was in Germany for 30 months from December 1960 to July 1963. I was assigned to Company D, 2nd Medium Tank Battalion, 66th Armor, 4th Armor Division. I was in Germany when they put the wall up. After looking back at being rushed through my advanced training I think that we knew that something was happening with Russia. When I returned home I was discharged. I didn’t care to much about being in the Army at that time.

After getting out of the Army I met my first wife and decided that I needed to get a better education so I re-enlisted in the Army, (Great education.) I trained as a Telephone Pole Lineman in Fort Gordon, Georgia. I was there from July 1963 until December of 1965. I went to Korea for 15 months. This was definitely a different way of life. I was making $48 a month and another $50 for being married which was sent to my wife at the time. The average Korean was living on less than $1 US dollar a year. I was in a small town. It was the town where MASH was supposed to be at. The Koreans around there don’t have air conditioners, they use bricks of coal to heat their homes, no indoor toilets, no showers and a whole lot of other things that I was used to. While I was there I went to the DMZ to see what it looked like. This is the place where North Korea, South Korea and the United States called off the war by creating the artistes. While at the DMZ I stepped a crossed the the line between North and South Korea. So I can say that I was in both of the parts of Korea. When I returned home I got out again.

I was out for about 8 months when the Air Force recruiter thought that I should join the Air Force. After some convincing and giving me what I wanted I joined the Air Force. This time it was for a career. I needed something to do. I was in the Air Force from 1967 to 1983. My assignments were to Biloxi, Mississippi for tech school, Rantoul, Illinous Training for a radio, Altus AFB, Altus, Oklahoma, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Scott AFB, Belleville, Illinois, Clark AFB, Philippines for 3 tours. For the most part I really enjoyed the Air Force.


AUSTRIA, DENMARK, GERMANY (with the Army), GUAM, JAPAN, KOREA (with the Army South and North. I spent about 10 minutes on the north side of the line.), MIDWAY ISLAND, OKINAWA, PHILIPPINES, TIAWAN, THAILAND AND WAKE ISLAND


Updated 10/1/21