Army

Turning Blue

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I was “On The Trail” from ’94 through ’96.  It was rewarding and challenging, two years was as much as I could bear.  It wears on you, the rewards don’t balance against the challenges.  But they do say that every so often the sun shines, even on a black dog’s ass.

We were training Infantrymen in Charlie, 1/38 Infantry, that was our job, our job included a bit of “weeding out the non-hackers” as R Lee Ermey so aptly put it.  ...

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Doo Doo’s Demise

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I mentioned “Doo Doo” Brown yesterday.  I got his measure the day after I reported.  One of the squads was going to the Bn Aid Station for training, I tagged along and got the tour on the way.  By the time we’d walked the whole half a block to the aid station, Private “Doo Doo” Brown was on my last nerve.  With both feet.  Part of the Ness Impersonator’s skit was when I told Doo Doo, “Shut your pie hole ...

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Skit Nite

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I came off the trail and PCS’d to The Division at Ft Bragg.  Did the usual inprocessing thing and found myself in 1/325th Airborne Infantry Regiment.  The platoon was out on taskings, I met the platoon leader who informed me that the platoon sergeant was on leave so I’d fill in for him a few days til he got back and he’d figure out which line company I’d go to.  While looking around the CP I saw some platoon photographs.  While ...

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The Scuffin’ Test

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I was “on the trail” in the mid-nineties.  Rewarding as hell, I learned alot about how to be an NCO and how to be an asshole, but I repeat myself.  Long hours, often boring as all hell,too often the Drill Sergeant sits around while cadre teaches Joe.  Y’all know nothin’ good comes from a bored Drill Sergeant.

Charlie 1/38th Infantry was on a Post Support day tomorrow.  No training, all our soldiers were tasked out to assist with the menial grunt ...

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Salutin’ Demons

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I know, the way we fight wars has changed, but I suspect life around headquarters command centers hasn’t. In the long campaigns in World War II, North Africa, Italy and France, units were often sent back to the rear for R & R, and to refresh equipment. Infantry riflemen and 2nd Lieutenants dropped at an alarming rate so were replaced more often. Bill Mauldin and Ernie Pyle’s bread and butter were the infantry, Mauldin capturing more of the humor of that area ...

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The Death of Captain Waskow by Ernie Pyle

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At the Front Lines in Italy, January 10th, 1944 . . .

In this war I have known a lot of officers who were loved and respected by the soldiers under them. But never have I crossed the trail of any man as beloved as Capt. Henry T. Waskow of Belton, Texas.

Capt. Waskow was a company commander in the 36th Division. He had led his company since long before it left the States. He was very young, only in his middle ...

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Uncle Hank and The Combat Infantryman’s Badge

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Before I attended kindergarten my “Uncle Hank” used to stop at the house every afternoon and take me with him to “help” with chores.  He was actually my mother’s uncle, my grandfather’s brother.  He kept feeder cattle in the barn and pasture at the house we lived in.  In the winter time mom would start dressing me ten minutes before he arrived, he’d knock and enter and sip a cup of hot coffee while he waited for a four year ...

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An Ash Wednesday Tale, Benny and his Jeepney

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Part of a series of stories I’ve told, Famous Common Person I Have Known

In Spring, 1974 I took a few days leave at Clark AFB in the Philippines, en route to Bangkok. Part of the rate for my hotel room in Angeles City included a Jeepney and a driver. His name was Benny, mid-20s with a fancy Jeepney, and he took me all over the place, such as the first Japanese kamikaze airfield nearby. I told Benny I wanted to go to the town where ...

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