I enlisted in the Army right after graduation from High School in 1961.
After Basic Training and Infantry AIT at Fort Jackson, SC I was transferred to Fort Eustis, VA for training as a Marine Engineer in the Army's Navy. I didn't know the Army HAD a Navy. After training, I was assigned to Army Ship FS 221. During my tour onboard we ranged from Greenland to Panama and the Azores.
Photograph courtesy of Jim Pumphret
In 1963 I was transferred to St. Petersburg, FL for duty with an Army Reserve Harbor Craft unit. During this period I advanced from SP4 to SSG E-6. In the summer of 1966 we were transferred back to Fort Eustis for schooling as a Marine Engineering Officer. In February, 1967 I was appointed as a Marine Engineer Warrant Officer. In May, 1967 I was off to Viet Nam.
After Viet Nam, I was posted to the Army Transportation School to train new Marine Engineers.
In 1969 I was commissioned as a 2LT, Transportation Corps.
In January, 1970 the Army sent me to full time college at government expense. They even paid for books! During this period I was also commissioned in the Regular Army.
After graduating from college with a BS, Business Management, I was transferred to Korea for a 13 month unaccompanied tour. I was assigned to a Field Artillery Command with Special Weapons and Missiles. Quite a change for a Transportation Officer. I even survived a Saint Barbara's Day celebration. I was promoted to Captain during that tour.
After Korea we were posted to Fort Bragg, NC with a 3 month stop at Fort Knox for a class. At Fort Bragg I was the Commander, HHC 7th Transportation Battalion, 1st Corps Support Command, XVIII Airborne Corps. We supplied truck and jeep transport to the Corps and its organic units to include the 82nd Airborne Division.
In December, 1974 we were transferred to Fort Eustis, VA for the Officer's Career Course. During and after the Career Course I finished requirements for a Masters of Science Degree in Transportation Management at Florida Institute of Technology. We were then transferred to the 172nd Infantry Brigade, Fort Richardson, Alaska.
In 1977 we were transferred to Fort Greely, Alaska where I was the Installation G4. On January 2, 1979 I was medically retired.
All in all, not bad for a high school graduate that just didn't want to get drafted.
After military retirement I worked for the USDA Forest Service and Indian Health Service for three years. I then left government service and went to work for Wang Laboratories and retired from there in January, 2000. We moved to Las Vegas, Nevada until we decided where we wanted to live when we grew up. After 5 years in the searing heat of the Mojave Desert, we sold our house in Lost Wages and moved to Bremerton, Washington. While a little more damp that the desert, the green, cool summers and mild winters are perfect for us.
This page and all images Copyright 2006 BD Thompson