Travel Journal

Looking Back 48 Years Part #1

(Friday 13 February 2015) by Rick Clot
Yesterday, while at the softball field getting ready to play a game, I got to talking with one of the guys and found out he was in the Army the same time I was. He enlisted for three years while I was drafted for two. He got sent to Korea and I was invited to spend a year vacationing in Vietnam. But the most interesting part of our conversation was finding out he played U.S. Army baseball while he was there. I too played some baseball for the post team at Camp Zama, Japan so we had a lot in common. Later, I started to reminisce about that entire experience of 48 years ago and once again realized how lucky I was to get out of the war zone and not have to return thanks to baseball. The journey began in Oct. '66 when I arrived in Vietnam a 20 year old snot nosed kid in a transportation company assigned to haul fuel in 18 wheeler tankers. For the first couple months I had the cushy job of company mail clerk and the commander's personal jeep driver until I pissed off the company First Sergeant somehow and got reassigned to the motor pool driving the big rigs with the working stiffs. The job wasn't exactly a piece of cake as the days were long and the roads we drove on were wall to wall potholes but in a strange sort of way I was glad to be free from the spit and polish routine of the office. After driving the big trucks for a few months, I woke up one morning in mid March '67 only to discover I had blood in my urine. Probably a result of the rough ride with an empty tanker on the crap roads. After stops in two separate hospitals in Vietnam, I was evac'ed to the main U.S. Army hospital, South Pacific at Camp Zama, Japan. That's when the adventure began........to be continued.

Until Next Time,
Still reminiscing,
Rick

 


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