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 20 years I lived on Hawaii's Big Island 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 moved to Idaho in late July 2019 to settle 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! It was a wise decision. I absolutely love it here in the northern Idaho panhandle!
Best Moment Surviving the grueling PT they threw at us during the first week of training.
Worst Moment Being told a week before graduation that I failed to demonstrate adequate tracking skills. I was a city boy who'd spent two years in the Boy Scouts without progressing beyond Tenderfoot and I just didn't have the field craft demonstrated by guys who'd hunted, fished and trapped from a young age and who spent long vacations in the wild.
Other Memories *We were assigned to Company B (Infantry), Provisional Battalion, U.S. Army Military Police School.
*The company area was located directly across the street from the old wooden EM Club, which led to some memorable--and occasionally regrettable--incidents.
*The Visual Tracker Course (VTC) was six weeks long and began with a 5-day week in garrison that started with a daily 0330 wake up call, grueling PT from 0345-0530, an hour to shower and shave, do barracks cleanup, and eat chow. We then ran a couple of miles to an outdoor training site where we were taught the basics of tracking.
We broke at 1100, ran back to the company area and did another hour of PT made up of things like guerrilla exercises, grass drill, log drill and the good-old "daily dozen" featuring permutations guaranteed to make tired muscles scream!
We then got an hour to rest and eat lunch, then it was off in a formation run of 2-5 miles to another outdoor training site for more classes. We wrapped up at 1630, ran back to the company area and were treated to one last blistering 60-minute PT session before being released for chow.
*The good thing was that we pulled no additional duties other than posting a "fire watch" in the rickety old WWII "temporary" barracks that housed us. Those fell to guys in a "casual" status who had dropped out of the course for medical or personal reasons--or who failed to make the cut at the end of each week of training--and were awaiting orders sending them to Vietnam.
*The next three weeks consisted of five-day field exercises at Clark Hill Reservation in nearby South Carolina. Track layers would precede us by several hours and lay progressively more difficult trails. They would throw in ambushes and booby-traps. By the fifth week they had begun using active countermeasures such as walking backwards, doubling back on us, and using water obstacles to throw us off.
*The last two weeks coincided with the last two weeks of the six-month Tracker Dog Handlers' Course. A handler and dog was assigned to work with a four-man VT team. The dogs were, for the most part, black labradors--a breed that proved itself particularly adept in the tracking role.
*Throughout the field exercises each five-man team was assigned an instructor to accompany them. By the time I went through the course they were all men who had been trained by the Brits in Malaysia and then pulled a tour in Vietnam as a member of a divisional "Infantry Platoon, Combat Tracker" (IPCT).