My lottery number came up in the high 200's., making me not worry to much about being drafted. One year later the draft was abolished and the United States has had an all volunteer armed services for the first time, and remains all volunteer to this day....
It was back in 1975 my father began telling me stories of his war days, back in what he called , "The Big one," (WW-2)
I was just back from a cross country sojourn with my high school sweetheart that included the United states and Canada by means of Greyhound bus with the 'Greyhound Ameripass' that let's one travel unlimited miles all over Canada and the US for a small monthly fee, we went for two months.
All of my father's war stories got me thinking... I decided to go see an army recruiter, I was mesmerized by this recruiter promising me the world and telling story after story of all the beautiful woman out there in the world.(in those days that's how they enticed young guys) The U.S was beginning to withdraw troops from 'Nam' and for the first time ever the Army was offering a two year option with all the perks and benefits of what four years used to bring. They had a two year option of artillery in Hawaii! I took it and signed on the dotted line.
I passed the written test with flying colors and after turning my head and coughing passed the physical exam with no problem.
My father seemed pleased, and the next day I met my recruiter at the Federal building in downtown Buffalo, N.Y. I'll never forget I walked into a room with a couple of hundred other confused guys, we were all told we were going to the same boot-camp somewhere in Georgia, from there we would go onto our assignments, mine being Artillery in Hawaii.
I decided to call my father from a pay phone in the lobby since we did not have cell phones back then. I told him the far out news, "I signed all the paper work and was about to make a huge plunge in life." My father asked me to please wait, he wanted to see me immediately and since his office was only 10 minutes away I waited.
My father was there in a flash with tears in his eyes said, "I thought you were joking and just fantasizing about this Army thing?" I told him I passed all the tests and signed every piece of paper they shoved in front of me, and was leaving for boot-camp tomorrow. My dad asks if there was anyway to postpone this or get out of it? I said ,"I signed everything."
My father wanted me to stay, he promised me employment at his place of employment since he was the boss. I'll never forgot he goes up to my recruiter and asks him, "is there anyway my son can get out of this, I think he made a mistake?" The recruiter tells my father has your son taken the oath? Until you raise your right hand and swear on the bible and take the oath of the United states Army the transaction is not complete. Two minutes later the sergeant recruiter screamed at the top of his lungs for everyone to march into the oath room, I lagged behind.
In many ways I wish I had not stayed behind. My mother had bone cancer and eventually passed away 7 years later, my father re-married and I remained a renegade,ironically and ultimately years later moving to Hawaii...
The army's motto is "Be all you can be." I may have fallen short of being all I could be, but somehow still made it to Hawai'i and although I am not physically involved in artillery, most days bring on symbolic artillery one way or another. Destiny and divinity somehow always seem to prevail!
P.S. Happy Birthday to Adam and Eve and the creation of the Universe! Today is Rosh Hashanah, (Jewish new Year!) It is tradition to have apples and honey to welcome in a sweet years and to say to all L'shanah Tovah, may you be entered into the book of life, Jew and gentile alike!
The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this blog site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Publisher of Dakinetalk the blog, but they could? ;D)