Leaving Home

Well as you know if you have read the paragraphs in my Highschool times then you know why I am leaving home at this time. I will have to say it was my own fault that I went into the Army. Well I am leaving on this day 11 November 1973 to go to the Bus Station. I am on my way to Oakland Recruiting Station. Well I was sworn in with 150 other soldiers. Well we then received our orders for Basic Training and wouldn't you just know it, 149 received orders for Ft. Ord, California. One lonely person was called and 

received orders for Ft. Jackson. S.C. and wouldn't you know it, it was me. I felt, all of a sudden alone, with my 17 years of age I had received my first shock. I had to catch a helicopter from Oakland to S.F. International and was on a plane to Atlanta and then onto Ft. Jackson.

Ft. Jackson

The picture on the left is the Reception Station at Ft. Jackson. When you see that for the first time then I didn't think this was going to be so bad at all. Well, the first place they took us was, well you guessed it, the "Barber Shop". You go in and they say, well how would you like it, then buzz, buzz, buzz and there isn't any hair left on your head. We 

then got our uniforms, boots, etc. and you practice marching and polishing your boots, this is also where I learned that you can turn your boot toes and heals into mirrors. Well then we all got our shock. They called us out in front of the Reception Station,

with all our posessions. In formation the drill sergeants said lets move, up in the cattle car and we were delivered to our training Company (photo right). This is when Basic Training begins and you better move or get down and give me 25. It was hard but when I look back at it, it really was fun. During Basic I was put in the hospital with Pneumonia and I had to switch to another Company for training and ended up having to be in Basic for 2 weeks 

longer than the average. I ended up being the platoon guard for 2 weeks since I was 2 weeks ahead of them in training. I did get a break considering that my basic training 

fell in the time of Christmas. The whole base is closed and everybody has to go home on leave for 2 weeks (photo left). That is also not easy since I was from the west coast and with a pay of $165 a month that also was a surprise. Well I got back to S.C. and finished basic training. After Basic, I had another 4 weeks of Basic Electronics Training at Ft. Jackson. After finishing this 4 weeks I was ready to leave this base. Well, all of my 

class in the Basic Electronics had orders to go to New Jersey, so on Friday evening after class we were all shipped on a chartered bus to New Jersey.


Ft. Monmouth N.J.

Well, we didn't have much from that weekend, since when we arrived you have to get your room, unpack, get ready for inspection. Well I  already knew what to do for inspections, so I didn't have many problems in that area anymore but the electronics, with all that math, etc and we had guard duty also quite often. We did have a lot of fun though when we were off. We 

went out on the town when we could, alcohol was 18 at that time in New Jersey and I was 18. We also went bowling, car races, Asbury Park Boardwalk, etc. Oh ya, I was at Fort Monmouth for training and I became a Strategic Microwave Systems 

Communications Technician. Photo left is a weekend where you don't know what to do but hang around the barracks since your monthly pay has ran out and you just wait around for the Messhall to open up, since at least without any money you still get to eat. I was stationed at Ft. Monmouth for about 12 weeks and then right before graduation I had received my overseas orders for Korea which then 2 days later was changed to West Germany. I sure was glad that my orders had been changed since I was disappointed that I was going to Korea. I then finished my training and graduated. Then I had 30 days of leave at home before going to Germany. I left Ft. Monmouth and arrived home on the day of our 1974 

Highschool Graduation but I was to late to go. I then had my 30 days of leave before leaving for Germany. After this vacation I left Sacramento Airport for JFK New York, caught a Limousine Service for Maguire AFB. Had a 12 hour layover and left the next morning on a military charter to Frankfurt, Germany.


532nd Signal Company, Bocksberg Radio Station

After getting into Frankfurt, I was sent from there to Mannheim, then Worms and after 5 days of signing in to the different places I ended up at my duty station which was Bocksberg, 200 miles from the Company Headquarters. Bocksberg is located in the Harz Mountains approximately 40 mile southeast of Hannover, Germany. We were 3 Soldiers on top of a mountain with our boss SFC Füller. We ran the site 7 days a week, 24 hours a day ( 2 dayshifts, then 2 nightshifts, 2 days off). 

We worked one person on duty, between the telephone communications, was mowing lawn, cleaning house, etc. During off duty time we did  physical training, gas chamber, etc. We also had to learn to cook since we had no messhall, etc. Since that 

time one of my hobbies is cooking. It was nice though being on a mountain in the middle of nature. Our site was located about 10 miles from the Iron Curtain, we could look out the back door and see the Russians on a mountain top. It was very nice to be away from the military. Since we were so far away, we didn't have many inspections but maybe every 2 months or so. The site was located at the top of the ski slopes in the middle of a large ski area. At first, none of us except for the boss, had a car. After about 8 months we all got cars so we could get off the mountain top. We did have a couple of german friends that would pick us up and go out for a night on the town. Another one of our jobs was to climb the tower and check

the lighting and change light bulbs that was not working.  It was nice since when you were on duty we could go anywhere on site to include, pool room, weight room, house  

area to include watching one of the 5 current theater movies which we received every week. We didn't have much TV except german TV which I couldn't understand at that time ( I speak, read and write fluent german now), which watching Micky Mouse, Donald Duck and John Wayne did help to learn the language. As you can see (photo right) we did get snow and if we wanted to get down to the main highway we had to get out our DC-9 Bulldozer and plow our private 2 mile long road. We also got to shovel a lot of snow. We also had fun since our hallways connecting all 4 buildings together was not insulated to well and we usually had a couple of inches inside the hallways. In August 1977 we had a General come for an Inspection and he said that

we had to many people stationed there at this time, we were 6 with the boss, so they sent me to another site in Paderborn Germany since I was the only one there that wasn't married at that time. A single person can move real easy. I was stationed there for 15 months and commuted back and forth every 3 days since I was already together with my future wife (see Family). After that 15 months I had had a bad car accident during this commuting, so the General found out that I was married now and shipped me back to Bocksberg Radio Station since my wife was also pregnant with our first child at that time. I left the military in July 1980 and worked for 16 months driving a delivery truck. Went back in the military November 1981 and reported to 5th Signal Command in Worms Germany. They didn't even know that I was coming and I had already talked with Company Commander and he said if I can talk them into giving me orders for his Company he would send me up to Bocksberg. Well I told them

that up at Bocksberg Radio Station they need a person and that I live there already. I was real lucky, they sent me back to my old site and after 7 months I became the Site Chief at that Site. Well I was in real good with the supply officer and we decided that we needed for our mountain a snowmobile (photo left), 

well she got us 2 of them and we had some real fun. After 4 years had gone by, I decided to leave the military for good, for certain reasons ( I was able to run a site with sergeant stripes, get 2 medals, and have people working for me that had sergeant pay but they did not promote me, which I found very unfair), I really did like the military life but I had to leave it for several reasons, I ended this period of my life just as I had started it and left the military November 1985 at Ft. Jackson S.C. Life goes on at this period for a short year in California.