I graduated high school in 1966 and I entered UGA in the fall of ’66, met my wife-to-be Patricia and enrolled in the UGA Army ROTC program. I had intended to make a career in the Army as a pharmacist in the Medical Service Corps after I graduated from the UGA School of Pharmacy. I attended summer camp my junior year at Fort Bragg, NC or as it was called back then "Fayettenam."
I remember the one weekend we had off that summer going to Southern Pines and staying in an air-conditioned motel and watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon late that Friday night.
I also remember having classes under Lt. William Calley, Jr. prior to his court-marshal for My Lai, and also Major/Lt Col Anthony Herbert. During the Korean War Herbert was a young Master Sargent who was awarded four Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars with a V, six battle stars, four Purple Hearts for his bravery and was wounded 14 times. After the Korean War he went to College and also completed the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course and became an officer serving in Vietnam. In the aftermath of My Lai he tried to report additional war crimes that he had personally witnessed but his superiors were not interested and did not pursue the reports. He eventually was relieved of his command and he voluntarily retired from the Army in 1972. Some years after his retirement from the Army, he was asked in an interview how he felt about leaving the Army after all that had come to pass. He remarked, "If you stick by your guns, if you stand by the truth, you win. I feel good about my time in Vietnam and my time in the Army.”
I know that I am still in awe of him and what he stood for! I enjoyed my 4 years in ROTC and then I had a deferment for a year to compete the 5 year BS in Pharmacy degree program and another year to complete a residency program in hospital pharmacy. During this time I went for a pre-commissioning physical in Atlanta at Fort McPherson and I was told that I had a blood pressure problem and was discharged from the Army for medical reasons. I was disappointed but went on to complete the residency and then completed a Doctor of Pharmacy program and I have been a College of Pharmacy faculty member ever since. I am very thankful for my 4 years in the UGA Army ROTC program and I know that I am a better person because of it.