(. . . continued from The Ripple Effect Volume VI, Issue 847 May 25, 2021)
The regimentation and senseless routine made the Army a bad fit.
Most recruits seemed to think and often said, "I'm just putting in my time." Frank told me the Army had an obligation to make college classes available. I was going to make every moment matter, squeeze as much out of the two years as I possibly could.
After basic training, my company was transferred to Ft. Eustis, VA, where we awaited transfer to our final duty station. When our orders came down with the Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) we were all asking each other what the military jargon meant.
When I finally understood my orders were to be a stevedore, loading and unloading ships, I was devastated. Is that the best I could do? Is that all my entrance scores showed I was capable of? Contrary to Frank's advice, "Don't volunteer for anything," I decided right then and there that I was going to volunteer for anything and everything that came my way.
In our company's morning roll call formations, the First Sergeant asked, "Does anyone here have carpenter experience?" Up my hand went. Someone else got the job. A few days later, "Anyone here have mechanical experience?" I got the job! Soon I was greasing bearings on our deuce-and-a-half trucks, then promoted to Parts Manager, inventorying and ordering parts as needed.
I told my Platoon Sergeant I wanted to take college classes. He sent me to the Post Education Office. The only classes they offered were math and typing. I signed up for the daytime typing class.
I insisted the Army was responsible for helping me get college credit classes, Dennis Dennehy, the Education Office clerk, knew I was right. With Dennis's help, soon I was taking night classes at William & Mary College in Norfolk, VA.
I, along with three other guys, checked a sedan out of the motor pool and drove it into Norfolk for classes two nights a week. When the first term was over, I signed up for the next term's classes.
It would have been much easier, like 95% of the other guys, to just go along for the ride, to just settle for the status quo, resign to the philosophy of the WWI song:
The action I call you to take is to establish your ideals, clarify the direction you want your life to take, then explore all the ways, all the things you can do now to reach and achieve your ideals.
You will never be a victim. Your life will be an endless adventure.
For a FREE guide to help you clarify your values and ideal CLICK HERE
—Larry W. Dennis, Sr. President Turbo Leadership Systems