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Showing posts from October 6, 2016

Cold War Draft Army: Best Army I Served In

Since my first enlistment in 1972, I served in three different armies.  I first enlisted during the draft near the end of the Vietnam War and the height of the Cold War. When I re-enlisted in 1975, I was in the new Volunteer Army, VOLAR was the acronym at the time.  After eleven years of active duty and reserve service ending in 1984, I re-enlisted in 2007 in the Post 9-11 Army National Guard.

When I climbed into my bunk in basic training in 1972, the other 39 soldiers sharing my room were men between 18 and 20 years old.  None of us were married.  We were from nearly 30 states, from both coasts, mostly from the American South and West, but "Jersey"and I were actually from the Northeast--very rare in the active military.

No one planned to make a career of the military.  We were all going to "do our time" and get out.  Half of us were planning to use the Vietnam War GI Bill to pay for college, although the reality then and now is fewer than one in ten actually wo…