An Odessy ... by Jay Belfield
This is the story of my life starting at birth, June 27, 1916. My name is Justus R. Belfield. My first and vague memories are my father's death, Feb 14, 1920. He was 37 and got caught in the flu epidemic of 1919 - 1920. My mother never married again.
At age 19 I enlisted in the Cavalry, Troop "A" 121st Cavalry. I was the troop bugular and was discharged, honorably in 1940 after 5 years of service. I played TAPs many times at lights out and later in the American Legion in the Bugle Band over several who returned from Viet Nam.
I rode several horses as my horsemanship got better. The mounts knew the routine and as I learned it I got better mounts. My first mounts were Gringo, Grover, and Garwood, all from chasing Pancho Villa back into Mexico in 1914. Gringo was the only one left in 1940 to be put out to pasture. He was 33 years old!
I was riding "A" horse by that time and she was a beautiful brown mare called, "Angora." I rode her for about three years. To explain the "A" and "G," Troop "A" was "G" until redesignated "A" sometime in the early 1930s. I loved the Cavalry but when they took the horses away in 1940 I took discharge. By the way, I forgot to mention that Troop "G" was under the command of General Pershing before he was commander of the US Forces in WWI.
Back to my story ... I was now a young man looking for a wife and found one and married her Feb. 14, 1942. WWII had started and the US was in it as of Dec. 7, 1941. So I enlisted and went in as a Tech. 5, which is the same rating as Cpl. However, I rose in rank fast and was a Tech.Sgt. (E7) in less than a year. Spent 1945 in Europe, France and Belgium. Discharged in jan 1946.
I joined the reserve and in 1948 took a one year tour to help with the Berlin Airlift and ended up on recruiting duty as PINCO or public information non-commissioned officer. That was none of my doing so I rode it out and enjoyed it.
We had a radio program, newspaper column and we made street signs. We also gave speeches at high schools, clubs like the Lions Club, Kiwanis, Rotary, and other service clubs.
I re-enlisted Regular Army in 1949 and became a recruiter. In my first year I enlisted over 100 men and became a Star Recruiter. I also became an alcoholic. It was too much for to see the names of men I had enlisted who were killed in Korea. I was elevated to Sgt. in Charge of the Syracuse Examination Station and that didn't help matters either. So, once again I was discharged, honorably and joined the Army Reserve. They made me a Master Sgt. and a Warrant Officer. That is when I decided I had had enough.
How I became A Christian ... By Jay Belfield
Fifty years ago we were on vaction in New Jersey, visiting Lillian's two sisters who are married. They had a "Bible Study" and a "Prayer Meeting" while we were there and I joined in and received Jesus as my Savior. I was cured of alcoholism then and there. In fact, when I went home the next day and don't remember a thing until I woke up an Sunday morning and you can guess where I was as soon as I was able to get there. (church) I don't drink anymore .. So that is how it happened.
However, the devil wasn't going to let me off that easy. I had quite a struggle but with Jesus on my side I was a winner!
Since then there have been many changes in both our lives. I became not only a Bible reader but I have memorized several verses. I also have credentials with three different groups. (denominations)
At present we are members of a Dutch Reformed group. They seem to be the dominate one in this area and this one was on it's last legs. I told the Pastor I would bring REVIVAL. It has turned around and we are on the up swing.