Photo, 1961, US Army after Boot Camp
When I got out of Florida School for Boys at Marianna, and reported back to Judge Mathews, he told me to get in the service within 3 weeks or I would be sent to Raiford – and I believed him! My mother lied about my age so I could get in the Army, but I couldn’t pass any tests for any branch of service. The army sergeant felt sorry for my butt and let me get in. I was caught again after 5 weeks for lying about my age and sent back to Tampa for signatures from all the authorities involved. I finally went to boot camp on my birthday, which was only 3 weeks later. I went to jump school after boot camp and went straight to Germany for 3 yrs. I got an early out for being a shit bird and disrespecting officers. My discharge was honorably but I was not to enlist in any other government service or military for 3 yrs. probation. I contribute a lot of my actions from the abuse of my past.
I stayed out about 6 months working in the D. C. area, then I went to the Marines and told them I wanted to go to the Nam. They were grateful to have me. I tore up my old army discharge dd 214 after I was swore in. The Marines showed me some respect even though I had to go to boot camp again. I was put in for honor grad and lost it for stabbing another marine with the guide on – only one week from graduation. I went to Vietnam with Lima 3/5 1st marines and gave those people a lot of hell I had been harboring for years. I loved the marines.
I owe my life to many and by the grace of God, he has stood by to this day. I was so badly shot up in 1966, I spent 13 months in the hospitals, the last one at Bethesda Md. I was shot several times on operation Colorado after surviving operation Hastings which was the largest battle I had ever been on, which lasted a week or so. I went back to full duty at Parris Island where I trained recruits on the firing range. I played football on the weapons battalion team. I left there and was assigned to the marine security battalion in D. C. I went to Honduras and in late 1969 got in a jeep wreak that broke several more bones including my left thigh just above the knee . I have a bar plate in that leg now. I was medically retired in 1971. What a great ride that was for me. I have learned to respect everyone until I am showed differently. Today I still am a marine and God is why! (See recent picture (below) of Mr. StClair in his Marine uniform).
This picture of Terry Levins made Newsweek magazine back in 1969 while he was in combat. Like all other young soldiers, he was scared, and thanks the Lord for bringing him home in one piece. Terry was awarded two purple heart’s, one Bronze Star Metal, a Combat Infantry Badge,National Defense Service Medal, Marksman (rifle M_16), 1st class Gunner(M60 Machine Gunner), Viet Nam Service Medal,Viet Nam Campaign Medal W/60 DVC. Says Terry, he was also awarded a very bad memory, because the only brother he had was killed over in Viet Nam, after Terry returned home. Says Terry, “That’s why I hate WAR. God bless all of the servicemen that are fighting for our freeddom.”
Terry V. Levins Plant City , Florida.
173rd Airborne Brigade, Vietnam 68-69.
Eric Utley was drafted into the U.S. Army on April 9, 1968 His Basic training was at Ft. Benning, Georgia – Sandhill. ~ Advanced Infantry training, at Fort McClellan, Alabama
U.S. Army Parachute School, Ft. Benning Ga, Sept 18th 1968. ~ Vietnam – Oct. 1969 to Nov 1969, 173rd Airborne Brigade, B-Co, 4th Bn.
Awards: Parachutists Badge, Combat Infantrymans Badge, Vietnam Cross of Galantry, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and Bronze Star with V device, Honorable Discharge. Combat Infantryman, M-16 Rifleman, and M-79 Grenadier, Seirra Delta, Search & Destroy, II Corps Vietnam. Honorable discharge November 1969.
(US) Army Feb.1969 B-Co. – Fort Benning, Georgia “23
Richard was a firefighter. All Army bases have their own protection services, including fire departments. Army firefighters are responsible for protecting lives and property from fire. Firefighters control fires and help prevent them in buildings, aircraft and aboard ships. Firefighters supervise or performs firefighting, rescue, salvage and fire protection operations.
Some of the duties as a Firefighter may include:
John Giddens served our country in the Army. He joined the army after he graduated High School in 1983, He was a member of ROTC in High School and earned the rank of PVT1 , He attended basic training for 8 weeks at Ft Jackson, SC. After that he attended Advanced training for 26 weeks as an Aircraft power plant repairer at Ft, Eustis, VA. Then he was stationed at Fort Hood in TX where he worked as a helicopter engine mechanic. He was assigned to the 34th Support Bn 6th Calvary Brigade and worked on many types of helicopters until 1986 when our unit was the first ever to receive the new Apache attack helicopters. After that he was reassigned to the 2nd Armored Division at Ft. Hood, the same unit as General Patton commanded. He achieved many awards and was presented with the Army Accommodation medal with oak leaf cluster and the Army Good Conduct medal. When he was Honorably discharged he held the rank of E-4p. John is very proud of his service to his country and glad he had the opportunity to learn all he did. His father was a big supporter of my service and he is grateful to my father for my upbringing.
I got out of Marianna April of 1951 and went to Madison Florida. Madison was a small town east of Marianna. In Madison, I played football in High School and the state of Florida Athletic Association made them get my records from Dozier. Once the news that I had been in a reform school leaked out, I was treated as a leper from the locals. One girl I liked wasn’t allowed to even talk with me at school. We slipped around for a while, but it was really hard on her from her family. The only jobs were farm work that paid $3.00 a day from morning until night.
In November 1951, I enlisted in the USMC. I was sent to Parris Island, S.C. for boot camp, then to Camp Jejune, N.C. for engineering school. After engineering school, I was sent to Camp Pendleton, Calif. for advanced infantry training. My next stop was Korea with the 1st Marine Division and I spent time in combat. While in Korea, I witnessed the acts of war which were bad, but regardless of that, it was much better than Marianna.
My mom had remarried after she sent me to Marianna. My step dad was a Master Sgt. in the Air Force and was stationed at K-13 at Suwon, Korea. I was north of the 38th parallel and I got a pass to go see him; we had a good visit. Getting to K-13 wasn’t easy because it was 90 miles away in war torn country with no transportation. During my visit I was introduced to Captain Thompson a friend of my step dad’s and he told me he would take me back to my outfit in a helicopter. On arriving to my company, Captain Heinemann, my company commander was shocked and from that point on, if we needed anything, I was the company procurer. I was in Korea for 18 months and got out of the Marines in November of 1954.
White House Boy 1950-1951