Your are Visitor No. Since 3 July 98
I joined the US Air Force in 1972, and went to Lackland AFB for my Basic Training. From there I went to Kessler AFB for Basic Electronic Development, and Ground Radio Electronics. Funny thing there, I trained on repairing the radios used by Control Towers to talk to the Aircraft and in five years never worked on the equipment I was trained on.
My first non-training duty station was back in San Antonio, Texas again at Brooks AFB the School of Aero Space Medicine, Radio Biology Physics Branch, Research and Development Department. This was also where I re met my future wife, Sandy. We got married in 1973.
In 1974 I left for Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona. There I served with the InterSilo Radio Communication System for the Titan II ICBM program until I left the USAF in 1977.
While attending San Antonio College in 1981, studying Criminal Justice, I found a notice for the Military Police for the Texas National Guard. Since it would provide training and experience in the field that I was trying to get into I decided to join. While enlisting in the Guard I found out that the previous month my enlistment in the inactive reserve had just expired. I spent four years with the Guard. (149 MP Co, 49 Armored Division) I spent two years as a Garrison cop and two years as a combat MP (that's a glorified grunt with an arm band on saying that I'm an MP).
In 1985, while still in the Guard I decided to go Regular Army. My commander was dead set against my leaving the unit but he finally signed the release papers and I was on my way. Now the Army in it's mighty wisdom, instead of making me an MP for which I was already trained decided that I would be best served by becoming a Chaplain Assistant. So off I went to Fort Monmouth, NJ for Advanced Individual Training.
From school my first assignment was to Fort Campbell home of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). I arrived in September of 1985. December of 1985 while returning home from a six month tour of the Peace Keeping mission in the Sinai, a commercial plane carrying 249 soldiers on the last leg of the trip, stopped at Gander, Newfoundland. Upon takeoff to return to Fort Campbell crashed and killed all aboard. This was not only the defining moment of my military career, but was the defining moment of my life. I spent one year at Fort Campbell.
From there I went to Fort Richardson, Alaska. Now this was an assignment. Mountains in your back yard. Moose in your front yard. Fishing was the greatest. Two great long distance dog sled races per year. A winter festival, and snow, ice skating, and cross country skiing. Who could ask for more. I was in the 5th Infantry Division (Arctic Light). It was here that I attended Advanced Leadership Development Course, and was sent back to Fort Monmouth for Basic NCO Course. The highlight of this assignment was Brimfrost '89. This was a joint service exercise which was conducted out in the field for thirty days. The fun part of this was the temperature never got above -50 degrees F.
My final Army assignment was to Fort Polk, Louisiana. Now for those of you who have heard a rumor that Fort Polk is the armpit of the Army, it's not a rumor...it's all true. It's an assignment that should be avoided at all costs if possible. Why did I get out again? Well it was 1992 and we had won a great victory in the Gulf War, and Bush was still President. Yet the military budget was being cut, personnel were being cut, and bases were being closed. This did not look like a career progression to me. And judging by what has happened to retirees, and dependents, and to the overall morale of the troops in uniform today, I think I made the right choice.
So why am I doing a military web page? Because there are a lot of things that I don't miss about the military. I don't miss 1st Sgts, and Sergeant Majors, I don't miss the politics, I don't miss PT at 0 dark thirty in the morning. I don't miss PT tests, weigh-ins, piss tests. But what I do miss is the special bound between soldiers, the sharing of wars stories and the connection of doing something not everybody does and having a special language that only insiders understood (like making PCS a verb!). So this page is dedicated to the men and women in uniform. If you would just like to get share your military experiences with somebody please send me e-mail.