What are you doing now: Aside from a three-and-one-half year stint as Tactical Officer of C Co. and Field Music at Valley Forge Military Academy & College in Wayne, PA, I worked in the publishing industry after retiring from the Army in September 1991. I started out as Executive Editor of Presidio Press, a San Francisco Bay Area book publisher specializing in military history and military affairs. After leaving VFMA&C in the summer of 1998, I became my own boss--using contacts I'd made with Presidio to line up freelance copy-editing projects for several commercial and scholarly book publishers. I finally had to give up work entirely in 2004, however, when my body began letting me down. Fortunately, all of my disabling conditions are either directly or indirectly service-connected--making me eligible for a wide range of VA benefits--without which I'd be up the proverbial estuary without a manipulator!
Other Comments: For the last 19 years I've been living on the Big Island of Hawaii with my wife, Carol, in a subdivision about a mile outside of Mountain View--almost exactly halfway between Hilo and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. However, I'm moving to Idaho in May 2019 and will be settling in the Sagle area not far from the Pend Oreille River. Between the Blue State politics, earthquakes and eruptions, I decided it was time to bid Hawaii Aloha and head for cooler climes!
Best Friends 1LT Jim Greer - D Troop XO 1LT Orly Johns - Greer's successor as XO 2d Lt. Nate Pulliam - 3d Plt. Ldr. CPT Gary Rhay, B Co., 5-33d Armor CO
Best Moment When we served as OPFOR for 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) units at Fort Campbell, KY, in the spring of 1980.
Worst Moment The night one of men accidentally shot and killed a fellow soldier in the barracks. I had warned CPT Reilly, our troop commander, that I feared there were guns in the barracks. We conducted several "health and welfare" inspections, but failed to turn up any firearms. On the night in question, this soldier, fearing for his life, went out and bought a pistol. He then got drunk and was going around the barracks after midnight, showing guys the weapon and telling them he'd gotten it for protection. The soldier who was killed had just returned from an extended AWOL of more than 90 days. His roommate said the guy with the gun came into the room, showed them the pistol and the guy who died was holding it and looking at it when he left the room to go to the latrine. A few seconds later, he heard a single gunshot, turned and saw the guy with the gun bolt from the room. When he went in, his roommate was sprawled on his bunk with his brains splattered on the wall. We later learned that the pistol's sear had been filed down, which meant it had a hair trigger. I did not believe the guy with the gun had intentionally shot the other GI. Hell, he didn't even know him since he'd only been with us for two months! I wound up testifying for the defense and I'm convinced this contributed to my getting a less than satisfactory OER from the new troop CO and our battalion commander, who had rated me much higher when I was rated by my first troop CO.
Chain of Command Initial chain:
COL John Yeosock - 194th Armd. Bde. CO LTC Edward F. Bruner - 5-33d Armor CO CPT William L. Shoup - D Troop CO
COL Patrick Chisholm - 194th Armd. Bde. CO LTC Edward F. Bruner - 5-33d Armor CO CPT Robert M. Riley - D Troop CO
Other Memories *Frequent training deployments to places like Fort Drum, NY; Camp Shelby, MS (three times); Fort Campbell, KY; and Camp A. P. Hill, VA.
*The night my platoon sergeant's M48A5 was rammed from behind by a tank from the OPFOR while we were halted during a night road march in the winter of 1980 at Fort Drum, NY. Although no one was seriously injured, the damage to both tanks was extensive. The other unit was using that road at a time when they shouldn't have been on it. This was back in the day--before tanks were equipped with thermal sights. . . .
*Getting heat stroke while serving as an adviser to a Mississippi National Guard cav troop during its annual training at Camp Shelby, MS, near Hattiesburg. I was teaching the scouts how to call for indirect fire and at the same time acting as the safety officer for the mortar section's live fire in support of the scouts' training. It was extremely hot and muggy and, having no jeep, I found myself jogging back and forth between their positions, which were separated by a saddle in the ridge line. I wound up being medevaced from the mortar site and awoke in the Camp Shelby infirmary packed in ice cubes as they fought to get my temperature down from over 106! After 36 hours in the infirmary I went back to the cav troop--but this time on light duty for the last few days of their training. . . .
*Acting as OPFOR for 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) units at Fort Campbell in the spring of 1980. We had just come in from the field when I got a message saying not to worry about my parents. Why? Not having access to news in the field, I had not heard about the eruption of Mount St. Helens, which dumped a couple of inches of volcanic ash on my folks' acreage near Spangle outside of Spokane, WA. . . .
*Coming back from my third trip to Camp Shelby, MS, planning on turning over my platoon and succeeding Orly Johns as XO, only to find that the guy who had been my PAO at Schofield Barracks in 1974-76 was the PAO at Fort Knox and got the post commander to spring me from the 194th Armd. Bde. to replace his Command Information Officer, who was leaving the Army.