In December of 1969 I was a second year student at Ohio University. Not really ready for school, poor and confused (very naive). My Dad had died in 1966 and was a veteran of WW II. I remember watching the lottery drawing on TV and laughing when my number came up at 303. But with money running out and knowing my Mother couldn’t afford to put me through college I made a tough decision and enlisted in Airbourne Armor.
I took the oath on December 12, 1969 and was ready to go to Vietnam. I went to BCT at Fort Bragg, NC and had a two week leave before going to AIT at Fort Knox. While on leave, someone gave me the book "Johnny Got His Gun" by Dalton Trumbo. It opened my eyes to the real mess I had gotten myself into. During the final weeks of AIT I "unvolunteered" from Airbourne training–taking a lot of crap from the Sgt giving me the papers to sign.
When the orders came for our assignments, 1/3 went to Korea, 1/3 went to Germany and 1/3 to Vietnam. I was a holdover while they decided where to send me. Two weeks later I was on my way to Germany, to a unit on the West German, East German and Czech border (1st Sqd, 2nd Armored Cav Regiment). Never did go to Vietnam and re-enlisted for German language training in order to go back to Germany–ended up at Fort Riley!! I was discharged after 7 years, 9 months & 7 days.