Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Trip to Basic Training

Wow! My beautiful baby girl just went to her senior prom and is about to graduate from high school in the year of 2010...

37 years ago I had graduated in 1973 and was on my way to Basic Training at Fort Polk Louisiana.

After being sworn in on July 9th 1973 in New Orleans Louisiana I was placed on a bus with a fellow soldier headed to Basic Training with me, and then upon successful completion of basic training we would both be heading to Army Flight School together.

The bus made a stop in Lake Charles Louisiana that was to be approximately an hour long. Across the street from the bus station was a bar with a pool table. We were told the time the bus would be departing. My fellow flight school candidate and I decided to step across the street to play a game of pool and have a beer. We enjoyed ourselves as we kept a close eye on our watches. We didn't want to miss the bus.

With a couple of minutes to spare we finished our pool game and beers and stepped out of the bar to get back on the bus. But, when we exited the bar there was no bus! It had left early... Here we were just beginning our military careers and it was already about to end early because the bus driver had departed early. What's a man to do?

Were we going to miss our chance to attend summer camp? What kind of trouble were we going to be in before even getting started?
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I told my buddy, "Let's go back inside the bar and see what we can do."

Back inside I noticed a couple of men sipping a drink at the bar and decided to accost them and reveal our plight. They were willing to try to catch the bus for us. Alright! Salvation!

We all exited the bar together heading to their vehicle. They walked straight toward the worst piece of mechanical junk I had ever seen. My heart sank. I stayed quiet. The two men walked right passed that piece of junk and crossed the street to a car that definitely had the potential to catch the bus.

dog tags

Whew! Close call! That experience is probably one of the main reasons I always try to give myself enough time to arrive at least fifteen minutes early whenever I have an important engagement.

The car was a hot rod and ran fast. It probably took us about ten to twenty minutes to catch up with the bus. My buddy and I were two grateful young men.

It seemed we were going to get our dog tags after all.

It sure felt good to be back on that bus.

Well, that's enough tall tale for today... ciao

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