Adjusting to life's changes with hope… through poetry, haiku, and commentary

25th Anniversary: US Army Retired 01 FEB 1987

Ft Dix 1975


I was walking up a steep incline on Thunderbird Mountain the other day. To help push myself along, I broke into silent cadence, “You’re standin’ tall, your lookin’ good, oughta be in Hollywood…”

I wasn’t singing loud enough for anyone to hear me. When I reached the top, it hit me. My retirement date is coming up! Well, 25 years ago today, I retired from the Army. I was inducted in Newark, NJ on 28 Sep 1965.

There are many things I have forgotten, but I do remember how to count cadence. I’m not surprised because being a Drill Sergeant at Ft. Dix NJ was one of my favorite assignments.

This photo was taken on 13 Mar 1975 when BG Forney congratulated me on being selected DRILL SGT OF THE CYCLE. The next photo was taken for the same event and printed in the local newspaper.

Ft Dix 1975

I should have been in Hollywood! Great photo if I say so myself!

About $300 a month (I think); what’s not to like — long hours, got to work outside a lot — hey, it was great.

I’ve taken a lot more time remembering than I have writing on this post.

It was a privilege to hold MOS 00F for those special 3 years or so.

You know, I’m still that guy in uniform deep down inside. I’ve changed; things have changed, but the Army was a special time in life and will always be part of me.

Although it is fun to look back at retirement and remember the people and places, the good times and the tough times, I never really will retire. Let me explain. Seasons in our life change; things come and go, but as a soldier and servant of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, I don’t believe the Apostle Paul ever wrote an epistle about retirement. Why?

We look forward, not back. We don’t retire from doing good. We don’t retire from serving people. We don’t retire from living as Jesus commanded – to love others. All humanity was created by God with dignity, even Army basic trainees.

John the Baptist talked to some soldiers in the book of Luke: Those serving as soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he replied to them, “Never demand or enforce by terrifying people or by accusing them wrongfully, and always be satisfied with your rations (supplies) and with your allowance (wages). (Luke 3:14 AMP)

My 4th Platoon, 26 Jan 1974

Did these youngsters in my platoon (26 Jan 1974) see me that way? Still good advice for today. In any case, I may be unemployed, but I’m not retired. I haven’t had a scotch on the rocks for ages. This occasion calls for it, don’t you think? Drill Sergeant, you are still standin’ tall and lookin’ good.

Advertisements

14 Responses to “25th Anniversary: US Army Retired 01 FEB 1987”

    • alslaff

      You know I enjoyed my time with Jacobs and Lilly; you never heard me tell anyone to drop and give me ten, did you? Although, there were times when it may have crossed my mind.

      Like

      Reply
  1. notsofancynancy

    My father never stopped being a soldier either, especially when the American Flag was being flown. He would always rise when a flag came into the room and stood, what seemed like at attention, with shoulders back and his hand over his heart. The Army has produced some fine men as I am sure any branch of the military did.

    Once again thank you for your service and the wonderful comment on my blog.

    God Bless

    Like

    Reply
      • Ronald Boehlert

        You were my drill sergeant Jan. 73. I was a hard head and you got me through what it took to move on. I’m shocked and elated to have come across this post. Thank you for your service Drill Sergeant.

        Ronald Boehlert

        Like

        Reply
          • alslaff

            Ronald, responding to both here. Thank you for contacting me and appreciate your kind words. The pleasure was mine. Your BCT cycle graduated on 3/13/75; I found a platoon photo that I’m sending to you separately. Again thanks. — Alan

            Like

          • Ronald Boehlert

            Mr. Slaff
            I recently contacted you in October I believe.
            You had sent me my picture of my cycle, January 1975.
            My email has since been hacked and I’ve lost that communication we had. Would you kindly send me the 2 pictures that you had previously sent?Notice my email address is different from before.
            Thank you so much!
            Ronald Boehlert

            Like

  2. David Santoro

    Hello. You were my drill sergeant in July 1975. I was looking about for army basic info and came across this. I retired after 20 in 1995. My 18 year old son is leaving for basic in two weeks.

    Like

    Reply
    • alslaff

      Hello David. Congratulations are in order – we both got through your basic training cycle; your service, sir; and the best to your son. My middle grandson just graduated from basic at Ft Benning in May, on his way to Ft Gordon, so the cycle continues. 1975 was a few days ago and DS memories are good ones for me. Thanks again.

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: