Department of the Air Force
Department of the Air Force

A S S I G N M E N T S

BASIC TRAINING 28 APRIL, 1961

LACKLAND AFB, TEXAS

F-4







I must admit that Basic Training was quite a shock for a young kid who had never been away from home for more than a week. It's difficult to remember much about something that happened close to 40 years ago but it sticks in my mind that all I wanted to do was get out of there and back into the real world.

One other particular episode resides in the far recesses of my brain. Our BMTS was scheduled for training to fire the M-16 or whatever they had in those days. I had never even had a gun in my hand in my life except for my Roy Rogers special six shooter. After I had shot off a few rounds, the instructor tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I wanted to enlist in the other sides army. I didn't have the slightest idea what he was talking about. He made it pretty clear when he told me that I hadn't hit the target once and I'd save a lot of our guys lives if I was shooting on the bad guys side. Turned out though that I did end up qualifying.

It seems to me that I was always peeling potatoes or some other gruesome detail like cleaning pots and pans in the chow hall at 5 in the morning. I really enjoyed the passes to San Antonio. I can still picture the alamo in my mind from visiting there during Basic Training.

During my final year of high School at Elder High in Cincinnati I found out that I had an aptitude for learning languages (Latin came very easy to me). The Air Force confirmed this with their testing and selected me to study Chinese at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

ON TO YALE UNIVERSITY



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