Thursday, November 26, 2009

I remember Ft. Hood.

Ft. Hood, Texas, was my first "permanent" duty assignment when I was in the Army. It took me 18 months to get there. Along the way I had been at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO., (loads of fun - basic training in Missouri in the middle of summer), advanced training at The Presidio of Monterey, California (beautiful place), more training at Goodfellow AFB, Texas (the only time I was ever stationed at an Air Force Base), still more training at Ft. Devens, Mass. (I detested the post & the environment, but the training I received there was quite interesting), then finally, Ft. Hood.

I started my duty at Ft Hood on a January day that had to be the coldest in recent memory. Actually, I was a day late reporting - I ran into snow and ice on my way, and finally had to give up any hope of getting there when I was supposed to. So I, a lowly SP4, had to make that dreaded call to the First Sgt. of the unit I was headed to, an exalted SGM, and explain my predicament. He was remarkably human about it and even explained to me that even tho I had direct orders to their unit, I had to report the reception area on the Main Post first. He even gave me directions from the main gate. He seemed ok, but now I realized that I was now on his radar. My first attempted at going about my job unnoticed had failed miserably.

My unit was actually on West Fort Hood, just a few miles from the main post, close to an air field, where huge military planes regularly took off and landed. I was assigned a job within the platoon which was directly related to part of the training I had received at Ft. Devens. We were a corp asset (III Corp, specifically), which I guess meant that we were used wherever III Corp said we were needed. In large scale field exercises we were attached to 2nd Armor units, which I think gave a good indication of my fate should an actual combat scenario arise. For me, it never did.

I was at Ft. Hood for 15 months, then received orders to Augsburg, Germany. It was not part of a unit deployment, just individual orders. I remember going over to the Main Post and taking part in some processing - that was probably the building where the recent shooting took place, but I'm not sure. I can't even picture it in my mind.

Anyway, I remember lots of things and lots people at Ft. Hood, and this terrible event brought it all back to me. I wonder if any of them remember me.

3 comments:

Patti Anne said...

Who would ever forget you once they met you?

Manx Mercurio said...

I remember Ft. Gordon. I worked there as the only white civilian KP in the mess halls. That was in the early 1970's. There was a rumor that the more militant black soldiers were stockpiling guns for when the revolution came. My first thought when the shootings happened at Ft. Hood was to wonder if the revolution had finally come. Then, of course, I heard the truth - it was not a revolution at all. Just some coward, again, doing what only a coward can do.

Heather said...

Such a horrible day. I had to call my daughter just to confirm where my SIL was at. Thankfully he wasn't there!