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.
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)
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.
Poet, Writer, US Army (Retired)
I dreamed of writing when I was a youngster. The love of books and writing may have helped to dull the pain of severe sexual abuse as I was sexually abused by two men at my father’s place of work from age 8 to 12 or so. I learned about this for the first time when I was 50 years old. So, as a boy, reading was the only place I had to go to. My fantasy world was better and safer than my real world. I loved reading and writing.
Reading books and writing poetry are a joy to me still and are an important part of my life. (See my About Me page on my blog for the complete profile.)