Everyone is writing a Christmas story so I guess I will write one too. I turned eighteen years old in 1965 and signed up for the draft. I was a high school drop out and knew that if I got drafted they would stick me in the Infantry. It’s not that I was chicken or anything it’s just I guess I’m not much of a fighter. I never held a gun let alone shot a gun before I went in the Army except a BB Gun . I kept going to the draft board every month until I guess they were tired of me coming around and in November 1966 they told me that I would be drafted in about a month. So I high tailed it down to the Army recruiter. I joined the Army and on December 6 1966 the recruiter picked me for a short ride to Oklahoma City along with another recruit . We were sworn in and flown to Ft Bliss ( El Paso ) Texas for basic training. Two weeks into basic training the Drill Sergeants told us they were going to close basic training down for two weeks for Christmas and we had a choice. We could either go home for two weeks on leave or stay on base for two weeks and do KP ( Kitchen Police ) I knew Kitchen Police was nothing but washing dishes and pots and pans so I decided that wasn’t no dummy. I had been in the Army two weeks and then I went home on leave for two weeks . After the two week leave I went back and finished basic training.
Well, what about that. I think that's the first time I've ever heard of such a thing in basic training. Short, sweet and to the point. Good stuff
I too have never heard of that. It probably happened every year but I didn't think there was any way to interrupt boot camp. I know it never would've happened in the Marines. Not to say I wouldn't have taken the leave and gone home for two weeks. What soldier wouldn't want to go home for Christmas, especially after the first two weeks of boot camp. Amazing. Thanks for coming back Charles.
Ft. Bliss TX! Being there alone would be reason enough to skedaddle home first chance you got. I'd been a "veteran" for all of six months before Christmas rolled around. I rode the "Blue Dog" (Greyhound) from Chicago to Caney KS. Don't remember what I did. Think I had one date with the girl that was my high school sweetheart (she'd long ago dumped me)and didn't do much else. Went back to Ft. Sheridan IL. A few weeks later the Army put me on TDY to the Navy for six months in Washington D.C. to attend the Navy School of Music.