Happy Veterans Day.
I am a Veteran.
I graduated high school in May 1974 and shortly thereafter enlisted in the Army under the Delayed Enlistment Program. The 6-month delay provided me an opportunity to get ready for my transition to the Army. During this time, I became better physically and mentally prepared before departing for Basic Training. The only prerequisite I remember having to fulfill before my 6 months were up is that I needed to lose weight in order to enlist in the Army. I think I had to lose 30 pounds. I lost the 30 pounds and more. My Army enlistment began in November 1974, when I was 18 years old. I served 3 years.
My basic training was conducted at Ft. McClellan (Alabama).
Ft. McClellan, AL
I apologize for the poor picture quality. It is the best scan I could get from a picture taken with 110 film. This picture was taken on the occasion of my graduation from Basic Training.
From Ft. McClellan I would travel to Ft. Benjamin Harrison (Indiana) for Advanced Individual Training (AIT). I studied to be an Army Stenographer, known as 71C MOS (Military Occupational Specialty). From Ft. Benjamin Harrison, I would travel to Ft. Hood (Texas) and later to V Corps Headquarters in Frankfurt (West Germany).
sometime between April 1976 and December 1976
I served in the military both during wartime and peacetime. My wartime service was short lived. I joined the Army in November 1974. The Vietnam War ended on April 30, 1975. I cannot recall even considering that the United States was at war, when I joined the Army. I wanted to serve my country. Remember earlier when I said that I needed to lose weight in order to enlist in the Army. I met that prerequisite. I wanted to serve my country.
Even though the majority of my military service was during a time when the United States was at peace, I was not out of harm’s way. While assigned to V Corps Headquarters, I worked in the Abrams Building located in Frankfurt, West Germany. I was at work during the June 1, 1976 bomb explosions. An article in the New York Times reported that on June 1, 1976 “Two time bombs exploded … in the headquarters of the United States Army’s V Corps, injuring 15 Americans and a German civilian, two of them seriously …”.
One bomb went off on the main floor of the Abrams Building; the second bomb went off in the Officer’s Club located behind the Abrams Building. I was riding a paternoster (translates to “our Father”) inside the Abrams Building at the time the first bomb went off. A paternoster is an elevator which consists of a chain of open compartments that move slowly in a loop up and down inside a building without stopping. Passengers can step on or off at any floor they like, or stay on the paternoster and loop completely around. The sound of the exploding bomb and the vibration caused by the explosion was like a hundred file cabinets had toppled over.
Here is a video that I found of someone getting on and getting off a paternoster.