SP5, U.S. Army
Served November 1962 to November 1965, and in Korea from 1963 to 1964.
Memory: “I was in the Army Security Agency, which dealt in electronic countermeasures. We operated technical radio equipment and also had to be able to send and receive Morse code at 25 words a minute. Our job required very high-security clearance. We were not a combat unit but worked in remote sites.
“After school (at Fort Devens, Mass.), half of my class was assigned to Vietnam and the other half to Korea. I spent six months on the mainland and six months on an island with a small U.S. Air Force detachment. The Air Force feeds its people well, so no complaint there. We were supplied once a week with beverages and mail by an Air Force C-47, which would land on the beach regardless of the weather.
“The South Koreans had a marine company stationed on the island. There was only one large hill, and they would have artillery practice every month, using the hill as a target. Our work site was between the firing batteries and the hill. That was interesting. We would work one week on days, one week on evenings, and one week on nights — never did get used to that schedule.
“The Korean general population didn’t have much wealth or personal luxury, but they seemed contented and friendly and always treated the military personnel very well. The one thing I probably remember most the year I was there is waking up in the middle of the night on Nov. 22, 1963, and hearing that President Kennedy had been assassinated.
“After Korea, I spent the last year in service doing instructor duty back at Fort Devens. I then got married in New Hampshire in July 1966 to Toni St. Jean, a girl I had met in 1963 (while at Fort Devens), then moved back to Omaha. She was from New Hampshire and was willing to come to Nebraska. How cool is that?”