Over the years a question I have frequently been asked is, “How did you, an Englishman end up in the U.S. Army?” Let me explain.
I was born, raised and educated in the small market town of Grantham, Lincolnshire in England. I came to the United States in August of 1966 at the age of 22. Throughout the United Kingdom in 1966 the economy was depressed. It had been planned that I would go into a family business but that did not transpire and with no immediate prospects, I made the decision to emigrate. I was also somewhat of a “wild child” that needed to air his wings so off I went to America.
I entered the United States as a “Green Card” holding “Registered Alien.” Being a “Green Card” holder I was afforded the same rights privileges as a U.S. citizen and was required to register with the draft. Consequently about 14 months after I had arrived in Dayton Ohio I got my “Greetings” letter from the President Of The United States.
I could have returned to England at that point in time however to my way of thinking the situation there remained the same. My American friends were mostly veterans and they gave me great encouragement and I didn’t want to be seen as “running home” in their eyes. Also, I must admit, the thought of joining the military held great appeal to me. And besides, I wanted to “see the elephant.”
A bus ticket was provided along with orders to report to the Induction Center of the United States Armed Forces in Cincinnati on December 7th, 1967. My induction into the Army took place on that same day (I used to joke that I was the second disaster to hit the U.S. Military on December 7th.)
Here are a few of the memories I have of an enlisted man serving in the United States Army. There are no tales of death and derring-do, just stories from that time. I will add to this as time and memory allow.