Ft. Ord – A Departure…..#80 (the 50’s)

Training Battalions on parade

There was no band to accompany the regatta on the parade ground, but miraculously two drummers appeared,  publicizing the congregation,  casting a rhythmic intonation cadence, painting a picture of promotion for the pageantry of the smartly assembled training battalions. The VIP’s  were stationed for review, the units demonstrating the liberty of precision and an atmosphere of recognition could be perceived. The soldier not questioning the ceremonial event, its arrival an approbation for the instructional cadre,  a celebration of attainment for the training units and their given the tasks, Gary thought it very appropriate.   The ceremony concluded,  a return to the barracks finding the shadows of a relaxed discipline in anticipation of the posting of the MOS school  assignments  and for some an eagerness  prevailed.   The soldier contemplated his change of character, military experiences reflects an understanding that perspicacity is individual, but very much recognizable, a different person having emerged.

Considering himself a remnant

The Platoon having been dispersed

The day of reckoning was Thursday,  June 25th, listed was trainees of the Company B, 5th Battle Group, 1st Training Battalion, their subsequent duty station and MOS designation, all that remained was the actual issuing orders and pay vouchers.  the platoon having been dispersed, Gary’s 2nd floor bay is vacant save one and he considers himself a remnant.  The basic training unit fulfilled its obligation,  most of the company having been dispatched to their MOS school, but Gary and some members of the other three platoons still remained awaiting orders.  Most unit drafted personal received orders for AIT,  Advanced Infantry Training,  or AFA,  Army Field Artillery with others assigned to communication school at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.  Gary finally receiving marching orders on June 29th, to report to the Duty Officer, 2nd Enlisted Student Battery,  operation  CEMMC-2,  Corporal  Electronics Material Maintenance Course,  Fort Sill, Oklahoma on July 13, 1959.   Oklahoma!,  the soldier was disenchanted, he was aware of his MOS but had no idea of the school’s location and analogizing missile electronics and the dust bowl state was totally disconcerted.  Rationalization was not applicatory,  the one thing he had discerned in the past eight weeks, a Army Directive was final, the statutory words being,  Yes Sir.

A last glance

A last rear-view mirror glance of Fort Ord

Gary pausing upon leaving, a two-week furlough awaiting before reporting to Fort Sill,  his thoughts about departing this entity known as Ft. Ord was almost one of abandonment, not that his leaving was without cause and not that this realms eight week charge’ is going without reason, for this military complex has been witness to many and could lay testimony to their attainment, it’s purpose and portals remain endowed. The 56 dodge navigated the main gate onto the highway, a last rear view mirror glance of Fort Ord, a foot on the accelerator the Belvedere transporting a soldier towards fulfilling his destiny.

The beach at Rio Nido

Driving back , the road and surrounding now forever bookmarked while a hint of melancholy lingered.  Gary somewhat puzzled that he lacked a feeling elation that one would expect having accomplished and completed an eight week test of endurance, discipline and preparation.  Arriving home, the soldier felt somewhat out-of-place, 7964 Greenly Drive was no longer the same, it was their world, he did his best to be the person he was before, realizing the family had remained the same, but his world had changed in the last eight weeks and he felt more like a visitor than a member  The following weekend found the family on their way to Sebastopol with a stop at Gary’s Grandfather Marvin’s, a decision being made to take in the beach at Rio Nido on the Russian River, something they hadn’t done in years.  Their stay on the at Rio Nedo was brief but long enough to bring back memories of past visits when Gary was a youngster.  Back then his Grandfather Marvin and  Grandmother managed a motel and the highlight of the visit was his dad renting him a bike to ride enabling him to explore the narrow tree engulfed blacktop’s with their small  cottages.  Returning to Oakland, Gary settled into the doldrums of inactivity that final week awaiting his time for departure.   Sunday July 12 finally arriving the soldier’s Mom and Dad seeing their son board a 10:00 p.m. Western Airlines DC-B flight to Love Field, Dallas Texas.


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